'White Christmas' comes to Sarasota

Irving Berlin holiday classic opens at Players Theatre today

December 5, 2013 

From left, John Andruzzi, Alana Opie, Joseph Strickland and Talia Byers star in "White Christmas" at Players Theatre of Sarasota. PUBLICITY PHOTO

ARAN S. GRAHAM

The story's kind of silly, but Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" features nearly two dozen songs by one of the greatest songwriters in American history.

So really, who cares about the plot?

"White Christmas," which premiered in 2004 and is of course based on the classic 1954 movie starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, is next up from the Players Theatre. It opens today and runs for three weeks.

Among the best songs: "Sisters," "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Happy Holiday" and, of course, the title song.

The plot has two do with two song-and-dance duos -- one male, one female -- who end up at the same New England lodge for the holidays. Turns out the owner of the lodge used to be the commanding officer of the two men when they were in the Army during World War II.

There are some romantic mix-ups and other merriment, but basically it's just an excuse for all those Berlin songs.

The book was co-written by David Ives, one of the best American contemporary playwrights, whose work local theater fans have seen recently in excellent productions of "Venus in Fur" and "The School for Lies."

Details: Dec. 5-22, The Players Theatre, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $25-$30. Information: 941-365-2494, theplayers.org.

-- Marty Clear

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