White Christmas in Van
by Howard Dai
Nothing’s better to get into the Christmas spirit than a wonderful musical. Since 2009, White Christmas produced by Arts Club had become a holiday tradition for all the theatre goers in Vancouver. This is the third consecutive year of Arts Club’s White Christmas directed by Bill Millerd, with the same cast playing the lead characters, thus I had a really high expectation of this production.
Every time I see a laptop with the band, it always makes me nervous
It’s always nice to see a live band in the pit; a trombone, a clarinet/saxophone, two keyboards, a percussionist, and a Mac book. Every time I see a laptop with the band, it always makes me nervous, as I had an experience seeing a musical that was completely ruined by the “technical difficulties”. Thankfully the laptop didn’t mess up, it provides some sound effects that the percussionist couldn’t perform - he was too busy playing the drum set perhaps.
It was surprisingly, a weak performance in the first ten minutes of the production, until the number “Love and The Weather” came on, the incredible duet between Bob Wallace (Jeffrey Victor) and Betty Haynes (Sara-Jeanne Hosie), followed by the appearances of the supporting characters, with perfect comic timing that brought lots of laughter. The highlight of the show for me is the opener of the second half of the show – a spectacular tap dance number choreographed by the amazing Valerie Easton, performed by Phil Davis (Todd Talbot), Judy Haynes (Monique Lund), and the ensemble. What stunned me the most is the design of the set, especially the snowing effect behind the gate that was revealed in the show finale. I’m also amazed by how fast the stage crews move all the scenery.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable Arts Club standard performance full of the spirit of Christmas; I recommend it to all ages of theatre lovers for an amazing way to kick off the Christmas theatre marathon!