White Christmas
White Christmas
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin | Based Upon the Paramount Pictures Film Written For the Screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank | Book by David Ives and Paul Blake
Based on the beloved, timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander. The dazzling score features well known standards including Blue Skies, I Love A Piano, How Deep Is the Ocean and the perennial favorite, White Christmas. WHITE CHRISTMAS is an uplifting musical worthy of year-round productions.
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About The Show

News for White Christmas

Production Info


Create/Order Merch for White Christmas

To request the rights to make merchandise for this show email brian.sherman@rnh.com.

Fan Info:

News for White Christmas

On Friday April 6, Oxford University Press will release two new books on the life and work of Irving Berlin to join a growing library of volumes on America's most prolific songwriter. read more
Relationship Dating From 1990 Continues With Global Representation of Irving Berlin Brand and Grand Rights, and On-Going Music Publishing Representation in North America read more

The timeless holiday favorite debuts in a new Anniversary Edition DVD November 3, 2009. Get your copy now! read more

Dream no longer!  R&H Theatricals is thrilled to announce that beginning immediately—amateur performance rights are available to Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS... read more

The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization is now home to a newly launched podcast series on iTunes.The Sweetest Sounds is an ongoing series of audio podcasts highlighting the musicals and authors we proudly represent... read more

Global warming may have brought mild temperatures and rain to New York City on Christmas Day, but for nearly seven glorious weeks, the forecast was for snow every night (and twice on matinee days) inside the Marquis Theater... read more

OKLAHOMA! was shot in the rare format Todd-AO. On April 10th, for the first time ever, a fully restored version of the historic film will premiere at the TCM Film Festival. President Ted Chapin gives his take on this beautiful restoration. Read more →

CARRIE the musical offers some unique challenges to theaters. How do you represent the destruction at the prom? Do you show blood in liquid form or using lights? How do you show Carrie's telekinetic powers? Read more →
“I’ve got a bottle of Canadian Club in the room.  Come on up and have a drink.” Not exactly words you would automatically think of coming from Peter Pan or Maria von Trapp.  But come they did, from Mary Martin.  She had just received the first Richard Rodgers Award from the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, which had been celebrated at a fantastic garden party in one of Pittsburgh’s posh neighborhoods.  I took a ride back to the hotel with the honoree, and that’s what she said to me as the car pulled up to the William Penn Hotel.  The answer was simple – “Sure.”  So up we went – Mary Martin, her assistant Susan Grushkin, and me.  And out came the Canadian Club.  Read more →

Trivia for White Christmas

January 04, 2009

In 2009, WHITE CHRISTMAS the stage musical closed on Broadway after two years of limited holiday runs and a total of 53 performances.

November 18, 1945

The birthday of Walter Bobbie, director of FOOTLOOSE (the stage adaptation) and co-author of its book. Bobbie also directed the musical WHITE CHRISTMAS, and the 2005 concert version of SOUTH PACIFIC starring Reba McEntire.

November 23, 2008

In 2008, Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS premiered for the first time as a stage musical on Broadway at the Marquise Theatre. It played for a limited run during the holiday season, and returned to the theater for a repeat run in the winter of 2009 for a total of 53 performances.

 Press for White Christmas

  • Quotes
 “WHITE CHRISTMAS is enchanting as a first snow…Audiences drank it up like spiked egg nog.” — San Francisco Examiner
"The Berlin songs are sweet to hear. ˜How Deep Is the Ocean" is sublime. ˜I Love a Piano" is a buoyant number" — Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
“WHITE CHRISTMAS is a shiny package most audiences will be happy to unwrap…packed with brightly staged, well-chosen Irving Berlin numbers.” — Contra Costa Times
"most audiences will be sufficiently high on holiday spirit to sing along" — David Rooney, Variety
"WHITE CHRISTMAS has 'hit' stamped all over it...There just aren't enough superlatives for this irresistible show." — Evening Herald
"With memorable songs such as "White Christmas", "Count Your Blessings", and "Sisters" if you go along to WHITE CHRISTMAS, you'll be sure to have a Happy Holiday." — Dawn Ellis, Plymoth
"It’s been ballyhooed across all media, from billboards to TV. It should be ballyhooed a little more. WHITE CHRISTMAS merits the hype. A big, boffo Broadway musical with a gorgeous score that seemingly flows from music director Steven Freeman’s supple baton, the show left me twinkling like a Christmas tree." — Rohan Preston, Star Tribune
"WHITE CHRISTMAS is a holiday hit on both coasts... but it is great family fun even when Christmas is half a year away. Thank goodness we aren't too dainty to savor treats out of season." — Judith Newmark
"An irresistible story, based on one of the best Christmas movies ever" — Jacques le Sourd, The Journal News
"If you're hankering for a fix from the fifties, WHITE CHRISTMAS is the perfect gift" — Roma Torre, NY1
"You'll go home happy A sure-fire seasonal musical. I don't see how anyone who loves Broadway musicals can fail to be pleased by so polished and ingenious a show. The songs are out of Berlin's top drawer" — Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
 “Step Aside, CHRISTMAS CAROL. Twirl back, NUTCRACKER. There’s a new kid on the seasonal entertainment block, and it’s star is Irving Berlin.” — Oakland Tribune
"The most professional and crowd-pleasing show as far as holiday entertainment goes" — AM New York
"A jolly live extravaganza that only Scrooges can resist" — New York Magazine
"WHITE CHRISTMAS is just about the most perfect present you could have...it is quite simply one of the best musicals I've ever seen." — Western Morning News

Musical Numbers for White Christmas

Song #
Song Name
Character Name
Play
Other Versions

Awards for White Christmas

Academy Awards

January 12, 1970 — Award for Best Original Song: 'White Christmas'

Vocal Range of Characters:

Photos for White Christmas

// Photos

Shows similar to White Christmas

Writers Notes for White Christmas


Written By: David Ives

Walter Bobbie, who so brilliantly first directed (I’d almost say who created) Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, gave a simple, crucial bit of direction to two of the show’s leads one day.

It was fall of 2004. We were rehearsing the show’s premiere production, slated to go up in San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. This was early days of rehearsal, in a New York hall that looked out over 42nd Street’s gaudy chaos toward Times Square. That morning, Brian d’Arcy James and Jeffry Denman were working on the scene where Bob and Phil, former army buddies who’ve become stars, decide to put on a show that will help their friend the General keep his Vermont inn going.

For some reason, the scene was going miserably. No matter how much Brian and Jeffry – wonderful performers both – went back and reattacked it, some necessary piece was missing. I wondered if I should simply rewrite the scene from scratch.

Then Walter stepped in for a word with the two actors.

He said to them, “I want to remind you of one thing. This is a pre-neurotic, pre-Sondheim musical we’re doing. The year is 1954. Bob and Phil are not interested in their feelings, or showing their feelings, or showing what sensitive men they are. They’re men of their time. They don’t want to be sensitive. They want to be decent. They want to help their old army buddy – the same way they’d help each other out of a jam, without thinking. Forget about Bob and Phil. The scene isn’t about them, it’s about the General. Now let’s try it again.”

You could palpably feel a sudden lightening of mood in the whole room, from the two actors and from everyone observing in the cast. It was the lightening that comes of revelation. And lo and behold when Brian and Jeffry launched back in, the scene was utterly changed. It was free. It was uncomplicated. It was joyous. And never again did a scene get stuck that way, because everyone in the room knew that Walter had gone to the heart of White Christmas. From that moment on, the show began to glow.

You see, despite its apparent innocence, White Christmas is a show that’s actually about something. Call it community. Call it the ties that bind. In the army, in show business, in running an inn together, in friendship, in sisterhood, in “the spirit of Christmas,” the characters of White Christmas realize their connections, and their responsibilities, to everyone around them. It’s why Betty feels so morally betrayed when she finds out (wrongly) that Bob is less than he seemed. It’s why generosity runs through the veins of these characters, who live in a world that is perhaps quite alien to us today:  a world in which people are for others, not for themselves.

If I had any advice to give performers, directors, designers launching into this show it would be this:  outward simplicity, and inner generosity. Outward simplicity means not hammering jokes in the contemporary sitcom smirking-mugging manner but letting laugh-lines land as they will, with all the modest ease of 1954. The humor has to come from character, not from knowingness. Inner generosity means making your every acting objective about the other person. Speaking and listening are more important than trying to be funny here because it’s humanity that’s on offer, not snappy lines.

In short, this show can’t be played as a musical of today. To work, it has to remain true both outwardly and inwardly to the era the movie it’s based on was written in. That’s one of the reasons people want to see White Christmas:  because they want to inhabit that more innocent world of 1954 for a couple of hours. A world of uncomplicated friendships and simple, open feelings. It’s the world of everyone’s inner Christmas, where Scrooges are transformed and true love comes wrapped as a gift and snow falls when it’s supposed to.

Simplicity. Generosity. Decency. You can’t go wrong.





Written By: Walter Bobbie

At the first day of rehearsal for WHITE CHRISTMAS in October 2004, director Walter Bobbie (Tony winner for CHICAGO) marvelled: “Kevin and Jeffrey are producing WHITE CHRISTMAS in a way that big musicals don’t happen any more. They called me and said, ‘We’ve got a sensational score by Irving Berlin, and we’ve already booked a theater. Let’s put on a show!’ No workshop, no years of development. They weren’t producing a reading; they were actually producing a show! As scary as that prospect seems,” Bobbie concluded, “I found it liberating. And their commitment gave the entire creative team an extraordinary focus.”


Performance Tools for White Christmas

KeyboardEase:

This unique resource is designed specifically to meet the needs of productions that want convenient, cost-effective access to these hard to find keyboard sounds. We have carefully assembled all sounds required for a given show. Everything is laid out in correct sequential order, so you can easily progress through each song in each keyboard book with professional, authentic, show-specific sounds. All you have to do is connect any standard keyboard (or multiple keyboards) to your laptop and you'll be ready to perform. And we'll help you every step of the way.

Demo KeyboardEase for Mac or PC.


Contact Realtime Music Solutions for more information: www.keyboardease.com, via email: info@rms.biz, or via phone: 212-620-0774.


AccompanEase:
 This product is a rehearsal tool that allows for unlimited teaching, training and practice of individual vocal parts or dance sequences. Contact Realtime Music Solutions for more information: www.accompanease.com, via email: info@rms.biz, or via phone: 212-620-0774.

InstrumentalEase:
 This product is an orchestra enhancement instrument capable of augmenting a traditional ensemble of any size. Contact Realtime Music Solutions for more information: www.rms.biz, via email: info@rms.biz, or via phone: 212-620-0774.

Playbill VIP:

MAKE YOUR OWN PLAYBILL! Playbill VIP allows you to create your very own Playbill Program. We have provided Playbill with all of the credits, song listings, musical numbers and more so that most of the work is already done for you. Just add your productions details, photos of the cast and share it with all of your friends. Learn more: www.playbillvip.com


Rental Materials for White Christmas

STANDARD

  • Orchestration (23 Books)
    • 1 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE
    • 1 – REED I (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone (Lead Flute))
    • 1 – REED II (Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone (Lead Clarinet))
    • 1 – REED III (Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
    • 1 – REED IV (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
    • 1 – Reed V (Bassoon, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone)
    • 1 – Horn
    • 1 – TRUMPET I
    • 1 – TRUMPET II
    • 1 – TRUMPET III
    • 1 – TROMBONE I (Tenor Trombone)
    • 1 – TROMBONE II (Tenor Trombone)
    • 1 – TROMBONE III (Bass Trombone)
    • 1 – DRUMS (Traps, Mark Tree, Triangle)
    • 2 – PERCUSSION (see list below)
    • 1 – KEYBOARD I (Piano, Synth) (see list below)
    • 1 – KEYBOARD II (Synth) (see list below)
    • 3 – VIOLINS (Divisi)
    • 1 – CELLO (Divisi)
    • 1 – BASS
  • Rehearsal Set (22 Books)
    • 20 – Libretto-Vocal Book
    • 1 – Logo CD
    • 2 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE
    • 0 – Digital Logo

ADDITIONAL

  • WHITE CHRISTMAS - Libretti/Vocal Books 10 pack
    • 10 – Libretto-Vocal Book
  • WHITE CHRISTMAS - PRE-PRODUCTION PACKAGE
    • 1 – Libretto-Vocal Book
    • 1 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE

Cast Requirements for White Christmas

PRINCIPALS
3 Women
3 Men
1 Young Girl

FEATURED
2 Women
3 Men

ENSEMBLE
Large singing-dancing ensemble consisting of 'Jimmy's Back Room' Clubgoers, Train Passengers, Inn Guests, Chorus Kids, Patrons of the Regency Room

CHARACTERS
Bob Wallace - late 20's to mid 30's, a superb singer with a crooning style who moves well.
Phil Davis - late 20's to mid 30's, strong jazz and tap-dancing needed - a song-and-dance comic performer.
Betty Haynes - mid to late 20's, a female singer of quiet beauty and charm who must move well.
Judy Haynes - early 20's, strong jazz and tap-dancing needed - a major song-and-dance performer.
General Henry Waverly - late 50's to mid 60's, with the exception of one line, a non-singing role.
Martha Watson - late 40's to mid 60's, a winning, appealing character-comedienne
Susan Waverly - 9 years old, she must have an excellent belt voice and be able to move well.
Ralph Sheldrake - mid to late 30's
Rita - mid 20's to early 30's
Rhoda - mid 20's to early 30's
Ezekiel Foster - mid 40's to late 50's
Mike - mid 20's to late 30's
Tessie
Jimmy
Cigarette Girl
Snoring Man
Mrs. Snoring Man
Train Conductor
Dance Captain
Seamstress
Assistant Seamstress
Ed Sullivan Announcer
Regency Room Announcer - offstage voice
Sheldrake's Secretary - offstage voice
'Jimmy's Back Room' Clubgoers
Train Passengers
Inn Guests
Chorus Kids
Patrons of the Regency Room

Set Requirements for White Christmas

WHITE CHRISTMAS takes place in New York City and Vermont in 1954.

SPECIFIC LOCATIONS
Somewhere on the Western Front of World War II
The Ed Sullivan Show
Backstage at the Ed Sullivan Show
Jimmy's Back Room
The Train Car
The Front Desk of the Columbia Inn in Vermont
The Barn Rehearsal Hall
The Front Porch of the Inn
Ralph Sheldrake's Office, New York
Onstage in the Barn Theater
Betty's Room at the Inn
The Regency Room, New York

Materials Notes

KEYBOARD I (Acoustic Piano & Synthesizer): Big Horns/Trombones, Pizzicato Strings, Strings, Harp, Synth Bells, Celesta, Music Box
KEYBOARD II (Synthesizer): Celesta, Strings, Winds & Strings, Pizzicato Strings, Arco Strings, Sustained Strings, Strings w/ Magic Bells, String Tremolo w/ shimmer, Harp, Synth Bells, Toy Piano, String Harmonics
REED II Note: Flute in Reed II double lines for Clarinet
REED III Note: Oboe and English Horn in Reed III double lined for Clarinet
REED V Note: Bassoon in Reed V double lined for Bass Clarinet
VIOLIN Note: 5 Players Suggested Minimum
2 Timpani (F to F), Glockenspiel, Vibes, Suspended Cymbal, Wood Block, Sleigh Bells, Chimes, Xylophone, Triangle, Castanets, Bell Tree, Metal Cabasa, Marimba, Piccolo Wood Block, Cymbal, Bass Drum, Ratchet, Tambourine

Featured News

Oxford University Press Releases Two New Books on Irving Berlin
On Friday April 6, Oxford University Press will release two new books on the life and work of Irving Berlin to join a growing library of volumes on America's most prolific songwriter. Read More
Irving Berlin Music Company Re-Signs with Imagem Music Group, Rodgers & Hammerstein
Relationship Dating From 1990 Continues With Global Representation of Irving Berlin Brand and Grand Rights, and On-Going Music Publishing Representation in North America Read More
WHITE CHRISTMAS on DVD

The timeless holiday favorite debuts in a new Anniversary Edition DVD November 3, 2009. Get your copy now!

Read More

Media Rights

Promotional

1. The Promotional Video shall be recorded and shown for the sole purposes of advertising your licensed production of the Play. For such a video, R&H allows theatres to film up to 10 minutes of total footage taken at either a performance or rehearsal (i.e.: 10 minutes of scripted moments.)

2. The Promotional Video may not include more than (i) 1 minute from any song or (ii) 3 minutes, in the aggregate, of footage of copyrighted material from the Play.

3. The Promotional Video may not include any sponsorship or underwriting without the prior consent of all R&H.

4. The Promotional Video must be submitted to R&H by sending the source video and video link to editor@rnh.com.

5. The Promotional Video must include the following: "Rights courtesy of Rodgers & Hammerstein, www.rnh.com"

6. Upon approval by R&H of the Promotional Video, you agree not to make any alterations in the approved copyrighted material used therein and you agree to obtain the prior written approval of R&H for any other use of the Promotional Video not specifically granted herein.

7. Upon termination of the Term, you shall cease to have any rights to use the Promotional Video including, without limitation, in connection with a future production of the Play, and shall immediately remove its content from any and all websites on the Internet.

8. You may not use a commercially available recording.

9. Any additional promotional rights must be approved by R&H by contactingTheatre@rnh.com.

 

*Promotional video rights can only be granted once a performance license for White Christmas has been secured. Please contact customer service if you have any questions. If you have not yet applied for White Christmas, you can do so here. LOG IN to learn more.

Archival

1. Subject to the information provided in Licensee’s application and payment of the fee as set forth in Paragraph 3 herein, Licensee shall have the right to create a single copy of the Video for internal archival, private viewing purposes at Licensee’s address only and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved.

WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine.

This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present White Christmas in order to license Archival rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.

Distribution

1. Licensee shall have the right to create the Video and to make up to one hundred (100) copies of the Video for sale at cost to its Members for internal archival, private viewing purpose at Licensee’s address and for private, home-viewing purpose by Members, and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone other than the Members (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved. WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine. This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present White Christmas in order to license Distribution rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.
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