Casting is complete, and rehearsals are underway for the Long Island premiere of "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," playing Dec. 14-30, at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts.
This live, musical adaptation is based on the 1954 film, "White Christmas," starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. Originally released as a follow-up to Berlin and Crosby's 1942 film "Holiday Inn," "White Christmas" tells the story of two ex-army buddies who save a picturesque Vermont inn by lending their showbiz expertise and find true love while they're at it.
"Irving Berlin's White Christmas," with book by David Ives and Paul Blake, features 17 songs by the great American composer and lyricist, such as, "Blue Skies," "Happy Holidays," "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm," "Let Yourself Go," "Sisters" and "White Christmas."
The show made its world premiere as a touring production in 2006 and transferred to Broadway's Marriott Marquis Theatre for the 2008 and 2009 holiday seasons. Directed by Tony Award-winner Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Tony nominee Randy Skinner, the holiday musical was nominated for two Tony Awards and six Drama Desk Awards. Gateway's production will use the original Broadway set on the stage of the Patchogue Theatre.
Two Long Island natives and "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" alumni, director David Ruttura and choreographer Mary Giattino, return to Gateway to lead the production.
Ruttura was Bobbie's assistant director on the Berlin musical and is currently the resident director for "Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark." He was assistant director for the Broadway and touring productions of "Million Dollar Quartet" and was associate director for "Lombardi."
Giattino, a former Rockette, served as Skinner's assistant choreographer and assistant dance captain during the Broadway run of "Irving Berlin's White Christmas." She was resident choreographer for the "Billy Elliot" national tour and has choreographed numerous shows at Gateway. She will re-create Skinner's original choreography for the show under his supervision.
Christopher Vettel and Matthew Labanca will play the song and dance team of Bob Wallace and Phil Davis.
Vettel last appeared on the Gateway stage as Alex in the Berlin revue, "I Love a Piano." Other productions include tours of "Sunset Boulevard," "Cabaret" and the 30th Anniversary Tour of "Annie."
LaBanca played the roles of Jimmy and Scooter in the Broadway production of "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" and understudied for the title role in Broadway's "Young Frankenstein." National tours include "The King and I," "Anything Goes," "Joseph… Dreamcoat" and "Crazy for You."
Trista Moldovan and Alissa Alter are the "devoted" Haynes sisters, Betty and Judy.
Moldovan played Christine in the Broadway and touring productions of "Phantom of the Opera." Television appearances include "All My Children," "Celebrity Ghost Stories" and "Guiding Light."
Altler was dance captain for Arena Stage's production of "The Music Man," and also performed in "42nd Street" at North Shore Music Theatre. Tours include "A Chorus Line" and "Guys and Dolls."
Steve Brady plays resort owner and Wallace & Davis' former commanding officer, General Waverly. Brady returns to Gateway after playing Colonel Pickering in this summer's production of "My Fair Lady." Other experience includes Broadway's "Inherit the Wind" and the national tour of "The Exonerated."
Beth Glover is Martha Watson, a former Broadway star and the inn's housekeeper and receptionist. Glover returns to Gateway after starring alongside Sally Struthers in this season's "9 to 5." She has been nominated for an Innovative Theatre Award and was voted Best Leading Actress in a Musical by The San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle. National tours include "All Shook Up," "Promises, Promises," "Anything Goes" and "The Taffetas."