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Tapping in triplicate

'Irving Berlin's White Christmas," the holiday season's newest extravaganza, is up and tapping in triplicate in theaters in Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Director Walter Bobbie ("Chicago") and choreographer, Randy Skinner ("42nd Street") rehearsed three separate casts in adjoining New York studios in the fall, before sending them on the road as alternatives to the Rockettes, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Tiny Tim.

Based on the 1954 film that starred Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as a song-and-dance team who fall in love with a pair of sisters post-World War II, the stage version retells the somewhat sappy story but punches it up with extra numbers drawn from the Berlin hit parade. In addition to the title song - yes, there's a singalong for the audience - and hits "Sisters" and "Count Your Blessings," Berlin favorites such as "Blue Skies" and "I Love A Piano" augment the movie score. The production is filled with lovely dance numbers in varied styles, from Fred and Ginger to the old soft-shoe to precision tap choruses. A snow scene finale dispels the threat of global warming.

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"Irving Berlin's White Christmas" at the Orpheum Theater, San Francisco; Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles; and The Wang Theater, Boston, through year's end.


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