White Christmas | Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire | Theater & Performance, Holiday Shows | Chicago Reader

White Christmas Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 1 2012

Irving Berlin was a one-man song-writing factory, and sometimes you can feel the mechanism at work. Tunes like "Sisters," "Snow," and even "White Christmas" itself can come across like responses to a work order. But the factory always built high-quality goods—and sometimes, as in the case of "Blue Skies," a genuine production-line classic. A solid sampling of Berlin's better merchandise is represented in this stage musical based on the famous 1954 movie starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. The book by David Ives and Paul Blake is perfunctory compared to the source. There's a lot missing, and, in Marc Robin's staging, the primary relationships have less to do with chemistry than with hitting the required narrative points. You've just got to accept it on faith, for instance, that Rod Thomas's character belongs with the one played by Stephanie Benetti. The best performances are given by supporting players—especially Alene Robertson, channeling Selma Diamond a gruff old vaudevillian. —Tony Adler

Price: $36-$49

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