‘White Christmas’ a joyful holiday show

By Hollyann Gardner
Times-News correspondent
   DURHAM — Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” is the perfect collection of song and dance mixed with classic 1950s flair. This show, which is being performed at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) today through Sunday, will undoubtedly lift your spirits and put you in a Christmas mood.
   A male best friend duo meets two talented sisters and together they create a musical show in the barn of a Vermont hotel, and the result is a story that will charm any cold heart this winter.
   David Elder and Jeremy Benton star as soldier-turned-performer duo Bob Wallace and Phil Davis. These two actors make for a lovable pair with their fantastic chemistry. Their warm, vintage- sounding singing voices blend together beautifully in songs such as “What Can You Do with a General?” and “Let Yourself Go”.
   Additionally, Kerry Conte and Kelly Sheehan as the Haynes sisters Betty and Judy, are delightful to watch. These two performers are true triple threats, which audience members will especially appreciate watching their iconic duet “Sisters”.
      Audience members will be pleasantly surprised to find out that Lorna Luft, who plays hotel owner Martha Watson, is Judy Garland’s daughter. Luft certainly does her family name justice, as her performance is nothing short of wonderful. She manages to create an over-the-top character while still remaining honest and genuine in her acting, which is no small feat.
   The ensemble of this production cannot go unappreciated, as the large dance numbers such as “Blue Skies” and “I Love a Piano” are some of the most memorable scenes in the show. These performers will take your breath away with each tap and spin. The hard work of director and choreographer Randy Skinner is clearly noticed.
   Also notable in “White Christmas” is the costume design. The average ensemble performer has about 11 or so different costume changes. Each of these costumes is absolutely beautiful and eye-catching at every angle. Costume designer Carrie Robbins has gone above and beyond to dress each performer to the nines.
   From the opening duet of the classic Christmas song “Happy Holiday” to the final company number “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”, “White Christmas” is packed full of holiday joy for the whole family.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. today and Thursday (Dec. 4-5, 2019); 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham. Tickets are $20 to $157 and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets.
Hollyann Gardner is a high school senior at Alamance Community College and a Teens & 20s writer.
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