Glory Days

It’s that time of year again! A time when we put up our tree, when we sing songs and exchange gifts, and when the weather (theoretically) gets chillier. And of course, it’s a time to view some of your family’s favorite Christmas films. But here’s an even better idea: why not see one of the holiday classics live onstage? Well, right now at the Plaza Theatre you have that very opportunity with their production of “White Christmas.”

Most Christmas movie fans will of course be familiar with the 1954 film starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. At this point in pop culture, the title track alone has become a cemented and essential part of our Christmas experience. But there is a real joy in seeing the film brought to life before you onstage. From the performers to the choreography – this is a fantastic production. The leads are excellent. Russell Kacer brings the charm as Army captain turned showman Bob Wallace, as does David Otradovsky who plays Wallace’s friend and business partner Phil Davis. The pair share some great duets, and their comedic timing is sharply on point (most delightfully shown in their performance of the number “Sisters.”) Kaylyn Otradovsky is also wonderful as the feisty and talented Betty Haynes. She also has great chemistry with Lauren Orsak, who plays her bubbly sister Judy. Aside from their acting ability, these four actors all possess great singing voices, which is essential for a show with this many musical numbers.

The leads provide a wonderful foundation for the entire play, but the supporting cast is equally as strong. There are spotlight moments from many of the other actors that will bring joy and laughter throughout. Keri Graff frequently steals the show as an excitable former queen of the stage, Martha Watson. Mark Szafarz delights as the crusty Army general with a heart of gold. Julie Aaronson and Sheila Taylor will be sure to make you smile every time the flirtatious pair of Rhoda and Rita appear. The multiple characters played by Matthew Graff are all imbued with hilarious life. And we must make special note of young Brooklynn Kacer who is wonderfully precocious and sassy as the general’s granddaughter Susan. The are many standout moments from the rest of the cast which are too numerous to list here, so see the show for yourself and decide on your own favorite!

This production is also filled with excellent choreography. We can honestly say that these are some of the best and most fully realized dance numbers we have ever seen from the Plaza. The lighting is also used most effectively here, warming and cooling the scenes at just the right moment, as well as being utilized to great comedic effect at times. The costumes also feel spot-on, showcasing a 1950’s refinement and flair. Bravo to directors Katrese Skinner and Sarah Wilkins, music director Catherine Rivera and choreographer Sheila Taylor.

All in all, this is another excellent production from the Plaza and one that you and your family surely do not want to miss. There may not be much of a chance of us having a white Christmas here in southeast Texas, but you can definitely have one Dec. 3-19 at the Plaza Theatre! Do yourself a favor and go see this holiday classic live while you have the chance.

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