The Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department’s Star Bright Players present Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 6-9, at the Freedom Middle School Theatre, 750 Highway 96 West, in Franklin. This classic musical is based on the 1954 movie of the same name and features famous songs such as “Count Your Blessings,” “The Best Things,” “Blue Skies,” “Snow,” “Sisters,” and of course, “White Christmas.”
More than 70 cast members are featured in this production, ranging in age from 7 to 18. Joe Trabucco and Gabriel Pless star as Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, two iconic song-and-dance men, opposite Hallie Long and Mattie Metts as Betty and Judy Haynes, a sister act. The four travel to Vermont for a Christmas performance engagement, only to find that the nearly bankrupt lodge where they were booked is owned by General Waverly (Andy Seay), the former commanding officer of Wallace and Davis during World War II.
Also featured in the cast are Hanna Ross and Katie Yeomans as the general’s granddaughters, Susan and Sharon, Cassie Trabucco as Martha, Eddie Bosel as Sheldrake, Jake Cannon as Ezekiel, Richard Kidd as Mike, Annie Mrozinski and Annaleigh Adelgren s as showgirls Rita and Rhoda, Abigail Edwards as Tessie, Olivia Johnson as Jimmie, Trent Jones and Amanda Miserocchi as Mr. and Mrs. Snoring Man, Andrew Plumlee as the Train Conductor, Tyler Reilly as dance captain, Molly Tatum as the Seamstress, Kealan Fisher as the Night Club and TV Announcer, Carson Cook as Sheldrake’s Secretary, and Abigail Edwards, Amelia Edwards, Reed Gaines, Logan Dozier and Sarah Loose as the Quintet.
“The musical White Christmas appeals to entire families and sets the mood for the holidays,” director Leslie Milstead said. “The challenge in bringing this beloved Christmas movie to the stage is keeping the integrity of the original but making good use of the changes made by the production team when it transitioned from the 1954 film to stage musical.” For example, “Blue Skies” became a large production number, and “I Love a Piano,” an energetic tap number, was added, while the minstrel number was cut.
Another challenge in doing this production was teaching the children and teens the difference in how society was in the 1950’s, in terms of social mores. “We had to teach the boys what it meant to be a gentleman back then, to stand when a woman entered the room, for example.”
Led by director Milstead, the production team includes Connie Marley, musical director; Erin Laming, assistant director and choreographer; Josh Hollandsworth and Emily Eytchison, production assistants; Honor McDaniel, director’s assistant; Blake Dicus, sound engineer; Elise Horecka and Jennifer Breland, assistant choreographers; and Missy Key and Nancy O’Leary, set designers.
Tickets are $6 and are available at the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Franklin Recreation Complex until opening night and then at the door, one hour prior to showtime, if available. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, contact 790-5719, ext. 2010, or visit www.wcparksandrec.com