If you've been looking forward to the holiday season and playing Christmas tunes since Halloween, you might want to set your sights on the next production in the STC lineup. Based on the 1942 classic film, Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale, this joyous musical features thrilling dance numbers, laugh-out-loud comedy and a parade of hit Irving Berlin songs, including "Blue Skies," "Easter Parade," "Steppin' Out With My Baby," "Shaking the Blues Away" and the all-time favorite, "White Christmas." A bit of trivia: In 1943, when Irving Berlin won the Oscar for his song, "White Christmas," from this movie, he became the first artist to present himself with an Academy Award.
The hit musical tells the story of Jim, who leaves the bright lights of show business behind to settle down in his farmhouse in Connecticut. But Jim's attempt at solitude takes quite an unexpected turn when he meets Linda, a schoolteacher who also just happens to be a talented singer and dancer. Together they come up with a plan to save the struggling farmhouse by turning it into a dinner theater with dazzling performances that celebrate the holidays. Everything from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July. The cornball plot hits a snag when Jim's best friend, Ted, tries to lure Linda to Hollywood to be his new dance partner. Will Jim be able to hold on to his new love AND the Holiday Inn?
The roots of Holiday Inn go back to the 1940s where the iconic White Christmas debuted. A decade later, the classic was reimagined into the well-known film White Christmas, also starring Crosby and featuring more of Berlin's musical brilliance. It too was eventually brought to colorful life onstage and presented in recent years at Springfield venues. Now, the magic and fun of Holiday Inn takes the stage in Springfield.
Directed by Kevin Hart, the STC production is likely to be a favorite among fans of these beloved films and big, splashy musicals. The cast includes Elijah Sadler as Jim Hardy, Rayden Meyer as Ted Hanover, Jacqueline Keysear as Lila Dixon, Kyle Sottoriva as Danny, Greyson Eisele as Charlie Winslow, Abigail Buckholz as Linda Mason, Abby Cooper as Louise, as well as a vast ensemble of singers and dancers.
Holiday Inn rings in the season at the Hoogland Centre for the Arts in the LRS Theatre Dec. 1-3, 8-10. Friday and Saturday performances will start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will start at 2 pm. https://www.hcfta.org/tickets
Mary Young, born and raised in Springfield, has been performing in, producing and directing live theater for decades. She's done film and voice-over work, performs occasionally with local bands and looks forward to making up funny stuff with improv troupe The Portuguese Rodeo Clown Company soon.