November promising a ‘White Christmas’ | NevadaAppeal.com

November promising a ‘White Christmas’

Karel Ancona-Henry
For the Nevada Appeal

Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company begins the holiday performance season with a stage adaptation of “White Christmas,” at the Carson City Community Center, weekends Nov. 6 through 21.

“People love the movie and when I surveyed bringing it to the stage, it scored very high,” said Stephanie Arrigotti, director and producer. “I’m very excited and happy to see this turned into a stage production.”

“White Christmas” is part of Americana, and in film has touched every generation since its release in 1954. The film version starred legends Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney.

The story is about song and dance team Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, to team up with singing sisters Betty and Judy Haynes, who stage a production to save the inn of their former commanding general.

The stage performance has been choreographed by Gina Kaskie-Davis, who has worked with Arrigotti the past 10 years.

“Gina performed professionally in ‘Hello Hollywood, Hello,’ danced professionally in Paris and has a dance studio here,” Arrigotti said. “But even more important than her talent, which is immense, we just clicked from the very first time we met.

“She’s the one I can talk to who sees what I see, who can finish my sentences when I try to explain what I see for a production and that brings amazing results.”

“White Christmas” stars Mark Williams, Steven Meyer, Saundra Chaon Whitt and Lynn Heller, plus some 40 singers and dancers. They are accompanied by a 14-piece professional orchestra, conducted by Kevin Murphy.

“His is a critical position and must be someone I trust because there’s a lot more to it than standing up there waving their arms.”

As the head of Western Nevada College’s theater department, Arrigotti has produced shows the past 20 years that bring patrons from as far away as New York and San Francisco. And many come by the busloads.

“We have a gentleman who plans his business trips from New York and a couple from Grass Valley who have family in Eastern Nevada who plan their family reunions around our productions,” she said. “We have season ticket holders who drive from San Jose for every show.

“To receive letters saying people deeply appreciate the shows we present and that they’re as good or better than what is being seen on Broadway, is high praise.”

Western Nevada Musical Theatre productions cost an estimated $50,000 to $60,000 to stage, with a budget met by keeping tickets reasonably priced, Arrigotti said.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy our performances and have kept our ticket prices profoundly reasonable and do everything in our power to make every show visually stunning,” she said.

“White Christmas,” in rehearsal since August, features songs that made the film so popular, such as “Sisters,” and “What Do You Do With A General,” to renditions of “The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing,” “I Love a Piano,” “White Christmas,” of course, and many more.

“This is a wonderful start to the holiday season,” Arrigotti said. “We have an impressive cast, a stellar dance troupe and an engaging story.

“Audiences have been requesting this show since it was released and we are getting an enthusiastic response.”

Tickets for “White Christmas” are available at Realty Executives, 1071 South Carson St. or by phone at 775-445-4249. There is no service fee for charging by phone. Performances take place weekends, Nov. 6 through 21. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. There also is a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. Admission is $20 general, $18 for students and seniors, and $16 for youth 17 and younger. For information go to the website at wnmtc.com or call 775-445-4249.

Tickets are now available for the 2011 Theatre Season, available at wnmtc.com or by calling 775-445-4249. The season shows are:

• “Good Vibrations,” Feb. 11-13

• “Oklahoma,” May 6-16

• The third show can’t be announced by name, but is the longest running show in Broadway history, and is a topflight production.