Irving Berlin’s songs are charming, the dancing pleasantly efficient and the sets attractive; but the scriptwriters of White Christmas must have wanted to get away for an early Christmas break – They’ve so filleted the storyline of the 1954 film (which starred Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) that it’s impossible to care what happens to any of the characters involved.
So it’s best just to sit back and enjoy the individual elements of this sugary spectacle as former army buddies Bob and Phil (now a successful showbiz double act) unite a decade later to save their old commander’s Vermont inn and win the hearts of a couple of showgirl sisters in the process.
As one would expect, former Strictly winner Tom Chambers’ womanising Phil is an accomplished hoofer, dancing on top of a piano and keen to get his more reserved partner a suitable gal. Aled Jones’s Bob won’t win any acting awards, but the pure treble of his prepubescent years (his cover version of “Walking in the Air” scaled the charts in the 1980’s) has long given way to a rich baritone, which is pure pleasure to hear – or at least, it would be, if only they’d turn down the amplification, which blasts what should be a cosy seasonal show to uncomfortable levels.
Still, Wendi Peters provides a winning comic turn as nosey receptionist Martha with a belter of a voice. With a bit of good will, this old-fashioned dollop of cheery sentimentality passes muster as an undemanding evening out.
Dominion, Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7AQ
Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Until 3rd January