‘White Christmas’ warmed many hearts
Today I encountered a real first. It happened after being part of a rousing standing ovation for the latest of this season’s offerings at Shea’s: Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas the Musical.” This show’s set design, dancing, singing, acting and storyline had the appreciative theatergoers tapping their feet and clapping their hands or humming along with the all-so-familiar classic numbers of “White Christmas.” It culminated with a show-stopping finale and an old-fashioned, make-you-feel-good, tug-at-your-heart meaning of Christmas ending.
Now here’s the first. As my wife and I began to exit the theater, we became involved in several conversations with complete strangers all “reviewing” The News review by Ben Siegel that so “coldly” critiqued this performance. Some of the comments were as follows: Maybe he had a bad day. Maybe he doesn’t like Christmas. Maybe he broke up with his girlfriend. And here is my personal favorite: Maybe he got lost and caught a grade-school performance somewhere.
At least from what I could see, no real harm was done. The theater looked to be sold out, so hopefully Shea’s did not suffer any financial harm and the patrons still came despite the review. At least they were not deprived of a wonderful rendition of a special Christmas classic, and I’m sure the actors and musicians are used to the occasional off-base review.
As for me, and I believe as for many others based on the context of the theater exit conversations, I will simply read the review after the show, if at all.