17-20 November 2016
Reviewed by Jan Mellor
Me and my mum loved the film White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye and so we were excited that BOST (Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust), who were celebrating their 90th year anniversary this week, were, as an established amateur theatre group, performing this.
As the show started with strong and powerful voices from the cast in the opening scene of an army troop at Christmas Eve singing “Happy Holidays” and “White Christmas” and then moving into equally powerful renditions of “Let yourself go” and “Love and the weather”, we were not disappointed.
The story is of two pals (Bob Wallace and Phil Davis) who were in the 2nd World War together with their General (General Waverly), who 10 years later become well-known singers and take part in the Ed Sullivan show and meet up with the equally talented Hayne sisters (Betty and Judy) – famous in the film for their “Sisters” song. Phil falls for Judy and instead of going to Florida cons his pal in to going to Vermont for the Christmas holidays. At Vermont, they find that the hotel is owned by General Waverly and they arrange to put on a spectacular show to keep the hotel open.
Throughout this story there are great voices, fabulous dancing and costumes and spectacular tap dancing – especially when the whole cast (aged between 8 and 80!) tap danced to the opening song of the second act “I love the piano”. One of the great show stoppers was the girl (Sofia Lawton) an 8 year old who played the part of the General’s grand-daughter Susan – a real star of the future! The spectacular show that the cast put on for the General saves the hotel, the General realises that he would prefer to be at Vermont than in the army, the sisters fall madly in love – Judy with Phil and Betty with Bob and all have a wonderful Christmas especially as at the closing scene as the cast sing “White Christmas” – it starts to snow.
The whole experience set me and my mum in a very Christmassy mood and the packed theatre left with a little glow that Christmas was very near.
It was a very well-performed and professional show and although the cast were no Bing Crosby or Danny Kaye they sang wonderfully and danced with great passion and choreography and did the lyricist Irving Berlin proud.
I would recommend the show to anyone who likes nostalgia, great dancing and singing, memorable songs and Christmas! The tap- dancing scenes alone were worth it – I didn’t think people tap danced like that anymore! All credit to the theatre group BOST – I will definitely be seeing more of their shows in the future!
Tickets cost from £13.90 to £34.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
White Christmas is at the Liverpool Empire until 20 November 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8713017.
Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017