Here I Go A Wassailing: Old Rittenhouse Inn & Bayfield, WI

Old Rittenhouse Inn

Today the road has brought me to Bayfield, WI.

It’s time once again for my favorite review of the year:  the annual Christmas B & B review.

This review has been 3 years in the making, but at long last I was able to make my way to this tiny village at the tip of northern Wisconsin to experience Old Rittenhouse Inn, owned and operated by the Phillips family, and its famous Wassail Weekend which was back in action after being suspended due to COVID for a few years.  This has been one of my favorite reviews and an inn that I would visit again in a heartbeat.

As I stated, Bayfield is a small village located at Wisconsin’s northern tip.  It also sits at the base of Lake Superior which means there is always the danger of a lake effect blizzard.  Due to this threat, I took the precaution of insuring my trip through Travel Guard.  For the cost of $35, I was able to have the peace of mind knowing that I wouldn’t be out financially in case things went south and the insurance would also fund lodging to the tune of $100 a day for five days if weather prevented me from returning home.

Fortunately, the weather report called for cold, but clear, weather for my jaunt.  So I was ready to rock.

I took an alternate route to Bayfield through the highways of Wisconsin for the double purpose of avoiding the Twin Cities which had just gone through a winter storm and for the hope of passing through small towns and seeing some local Christmas flavor.  A hope which was fulfilled as I made the long, but quaint, drive through the state.

I finally arrived in Bayfield around 3:30pm on Friday afternoon.  When you think small town, Bayfield is what leaps to mind.  It only has a total population of 584, has no chain restaurants, and a movie theater with one screen.  Truly it is the place to get away from it all.

The town had been bopped by its own storm on Tuesday and snow lined the streets and lawns.  But, hey, what’s a Christmas review without the magic of some winter snow?

I made my way to Old Rittenhouse Inn which practically kisses Lake Superior.  It is a Queen Anne Victorian mansion built in the Painted Lady architectural style and was originally built as a summer residence in 1890.  Jerry and Mary Phillips bought the home in 1973 and began operating it as Wisconsin’s first B & B. 

The mansion boasts an impressive 12 rooms which hold amenities such as whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, and views of Lake Superior.  Old Rittenhouse also has a sister inn called Le Chateau which holds an additional seven rooms for lodgers.  Old Rittenhouse also contains its own gourmet restaurant, Landmark Restaurant, on property and is open to the general public.  As the restaurant only holds 62, reservations are highly recommended, even as a guest of the inn.

I crunched my way to the front door of the inn where I checked in at an honest to goodness front desk and was led to Room 6.  This is one of the five biggest rooms I’ve stayed in and could have hosted a small party.  The room’s tan walls hold some lovely paintings along with a comfortable leather couch, rocking chair, coffee table, private table for two, a king-sized bed, and a whirlpool tub in the corner.  I also shared a private balcony with the room down the hall.

Once settled in, I explored the mansion and admired the Christmas festiveness on the first floor as well as the inn’s highly regarded stained glass windows.

Once my explorations were done, I donned my hat and coat and went to the downtown area to look around.  Downtown is just a few blocks away so there’d be no need for the car for this journey.  Downtown Bayfield looked properly Christmassy with the pine boughs wrapped around the street lamps and the storefronts shining with decorations, lights, and trees.

I was visiting during the off season so many activities and restaurants weren’t available to me which simply means I’ll have to come back during the spring or summer to experience ferries to the Apostle Islands and other seasonal events.  But I did enjoy gazing into the various shops and stores and saw the Christmas spirit in full swing.

For my dinner, I headed to Morty’s Pub.  This small bar and grill exuded a great deal of fun with sports showing on several TVs, a pool table, and seating at tables or the bar.  Morty’s Pub also had a goodie table laid out with desserts and chips and some hot items for the patrons to enjoy.

For myself, I enjoyed a tasty Bourbon BBQ Burger while I continued working my way thought my latest book of Sherlock Holmes pastiches.  A light snow had started to fall as I hiked my way back to the inn and I felt a long day of driving hit me as I entered my room.  I drew a whirlpool bath, added some aloe and green tea bath salts and just soaked for a long while before crawling under the thick quilt and blankets and reading myself to sleep.

Since I tend to rise early, I decided to eat early as well and had made a reservation to have breakfast at 8am.  In fact, I was the only guest eating at that early hour.  A menu was available and breakfast is free to guests of the inn ($16 for the general public).  The menu had several intriguing entrees, but I went with the special du jour:  Virginia Ham Scramble with a side of Yukon Gold Potatoes. 

Breakfast started with goblets of water and orange juice and a popover with crabapple ginger jelly.  For those of you unfamiliar with them, it’s a hollowed-out muffin.  Now I don’t typically eat jams or jellies, but this jelly was exquisite and the ginger really enhanced the flavor of the fruit.  My entrée was perfect in every way, shape, and form.  It was the perfect size and didn’t leave me feeling stuffed.  The potatoes were nice and crisp and eminently seasoned.  The scramble was right on the mark and a little cracked pepper upped the ante on the taste.

This, my friends, was dining.  I spent 45 minutes eating this delectable faire as I vacillated from reading and watching the lake smoke (due to the water being warmer than the air) waft off of Lake Superior.  I left a generous tip for the service (remember this is a working restaurant) and returned to my room for a bit of writing and reading.

About 11:30am I headed back downtown as I had a 90 minute massage scheduled at Superior Body Massage & Spa with Jen Banowetz.  Might I say that if you’re seeking a massage in Bayfield, make an appointment with Jen.  Jen’s knowledge of massage is unparalleled and she explained her techniques as she worked my muscles.  Jen used a variety of techniques including acupressure, Thai, Chinese, and even a bit of chiropractic adjustment when she stretched out my lower back.  The best moment was when she found a knot the size of a marble in my jaw and dissolved it with her fingers.  I felt my jaw hang loose in a way I haven’t felt in ages.

After untying my knots, Jen led me to the infrared sauna to close out my treatment.  Infrared sauna is a fairly new treatment that is more effective than traditional sauna as the infrared heaters warm you up from the inside out instead of just heating the air.  This lets one have a longer treatment and also purges more toxins from the system, increases relaxation, helps in weight loss, and promotes better sleep just to name a few benefits.

After a great sweat, I made a stop at the spirits shop across the hall and picked up a six pack of Wisconsin’s famed Spotted Cow beer to enjoy with my siblings during our own Christmas celebration in a few weeks.  I then returned to the inn for a brief rest before heading off to worship at Holy Family.

Holy Family Parish

It was a good Advent service with the deacon giving a strong sermon on how easy it is to justify sin and accepting the challenge of Jesus to change those patterns of thinking.  It was definitely a meaty subject to mull over.  But what moved me the most was what happened when I was leaving the chapel.

Holy Family has had a substitute pastor and I shook his hand on the way out and he gave me the warmest handshake I think I have ever experienced.  I was struck by his sincerity and his servant’s spirit which taught me a lesson in being Christian more powerfully than words ever could.

I mulled over that lesson as I walked back to Old Rittenhouse where I took another whirlpool bath and dressed for the Wassail dinner.

About 6pm I headed downstairs and found Landmark packed to capacity.  I was seated at a table with a pair of lovely couples:  Cheryl & Ed and Gail & Paul.  I enjoyed conversing with them throughout the eve.

At 6:30pm, the Old Rittenhouse Singers lined the cherry staircase and Jerry Phillips appeared in the doorway, shook his tambourine, and shouted, “Wassail!!” which the diners/audience heartily repeated.

Jerry Phillips welcomes the diners to Wassail.

This launched the Wassail Weekend.  Through the month of December, Old Rittenhouse Inn hosts 3 course luncheons ($65) and 5 course dinners ($95) where you are serenaded by the Old Rittenhouse Singers who will entertain you with a variety of Christmas hymns and carols.  Normally, the singers go from dining room to dining room to serenade, but sang to us from the stairs this year as a precaution.  Next year, the plan is to return to the traditional format.

Old Rittenhouse Singers

Now five courses may sound like a lot of food and it is filling, but the portions are not excessive (though the main entrée, understandably, is the most filling) and the courses are paced out over the night.  To give you an idea of the pacing, the first course was served shortly after 6:30pm and the final course was served around 10pm.

But what an amazing and festive night!!

The Christmas spirit was in full swing as the Old Rittenhouse Singers sang their hearts out and I enjoyed a sumptuous meal which began with a special Christmas cocktail called a White Christmas which was like a grasshopper without the green coloring.  Throughout the night I enjoyed a sumptuous feast consisting of the following courses:

Course 1:  Mushroom Consommé
Course 2:  Wassail Salad
Course 3:  Sorbet
Course 4:  Shaved Prime Rib with asparagus and mashed potatoes
Course 5:  Turtle Sundae with a rum syrup

With a full stomach and a peaceful soul, I slept soundly until morning dreaming of attending Wassail again in its full glory.

I dined early again as I had a long drive ahead of me and got to eat in the Blue Room (due to the color of the walls).  This was the inn’s original dining room before the Phillips family expanded it into the restaurant in the early 1980s.  I enjoyed the daily special again which was a Denver Scramble though I opted for bacon as the side dish and had V8 for the beverage.

Once I’d breakfasted, I settled the bill and began the long trek home.

If you want to experience Christmas in a way you never thought, you need to come to Old Rittenhouse Inn.  You will have an experience that will have you light of heart and full in stomach.  And the accommodations are luxurious and comfortable.  It will truly be a weekend you will remember always.

Until the next time. . .happy travels. . .and happy holidays!

Key of E(xcellent)

From L to R: Cassie Slater, Karl Hamilton, Emily Gardenhire, Andrew Scoggin, Taylor Kraft, and Jacob Barton star in ‘I Love a Piano’

It’s a tribute to the music of Irving Berlin.  It’s I Love a Piano and it’s currently playing at Maples Repertory Theatre.

Yes, the show is a tribute to the works of Berlin, but it’s so much more than that as well.  In many ways, it’s one of the most difficult shows I’ve ever seen staged as it’s, essentially, dozens of mini-plays mashed together.  As, arguably, America’s greatest composer, Berlin was not only extremely prolific over his 50 year career, but he also possessed rare versatility as he could write standards, comic songs, love songs, heartbreakers, and even patriotic songs.  Over 60 of his songs are performed in this production and each is a vignette which requires effective direction and triple threat performers as they need to be able to sing, dance, and, most importantly, act through the songs.  And, trust me, this show has that in spades and then some.

Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley did a stellar job arranging this show as each song flows naturally into the next and essentially tells the story of America from the turn of the century through the 1950s.  I was especially impressed with the framing device of a covered piano and the piano is actually the central character as you follow its journey through the joys and heartaches of America over five decades.

Courtney Crouse’s direction is some of the most nuanced I’ve seen in a show.  As I earlier stated, a director really has to be rock solid to direct this production as he or she is, more or less, directing 60 tiny shows and needs to string it all together logically.  Crouse’s direction has just that assurance.

His staging is impeccable as he makes full use of the stage and I always had a clear line of vision to every performer and there was never a single moment of upstaging.  His knowledge of the beats was dead on target.  Doubly crucial as the beat changes came with lightning speed.  He guided his troupe to utterly flawless performances and they knew how to hit the song points that made them funnier, sadder, more serious, more gleeful, and just more fun.

Jacob Barton and Taylor Kraft have absolutely unmatched stage chemistry.  The real-life couple have the panache and polish of Fred & Ginger combined with the timing of Abbott and Costello.  Each just consistently builds on small things the other does, creating something magnetic and mesmerizing in the process.  Both have the capability to make you cry such as their touching work in “Blue Skies” or can make you laugh such as their battle of one-upsmanship in “Anything You Can Do”. 

Both Barton and Kraft also get their own individual moments to shine.  Barton will tickle your ribs as a draftee in World War I who just wants to sleep in as he sings “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” and brings you home for the holidays with his soaring tenor in “White Christmas”.  Kraft is equally amusing in “Gee, I Wish I was Back in the Army” as she pines for the plethora of available soldiers and will make you swoon with “They Say it’s Wonderful”.

Cassie Slater and Karl Hamilton were the funniest couple of the afternoon.  Both have astonishing comedic chops which they use to fullest potential.  Their shining moment was “Let’s Go Slummin” as they delightfully spy on other classes to get their jollies.  Hamilton also gets to show off his equally potent dramatic chops with my favorite song “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” as he plays an army sergeant trying to help his private get through the fear and loneliness of war.  Likewise, Slater will stir your soul with the moving “Russian Lullaby”.

Last, but certainly not least, is the dynamic duo of Andrew Scoggin and Emily Gardenhire.  Both also possess the grand gift of comedy and are the most symbiotic twosome as their best moments come in their duets as they usually play a couple who are not quite on the same page.  Some of their best moments include the thoroughly entertaining “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” as an arguing couple who literally get caught in the spotlight.  They can also be syrupy sweet as in the duet “Isn’t it a Lovely Day”.  Or downright intimidating as they glare down an overexuberant bell ringer in “Lazy”.

Jennifer Hemphill’s choreography is elegant, expansive, and utterly perfect.  Never is there a wasted bit of energy or step.  Clayton Dornbach’s set gives off the sense of a Broadway theatre with is lighted columns and steps.  Shon Causer’s lights really enhanced the production especially with emotional blues for some of the sadder numbers and the use of spotlights as police officers breaking up a speakeasy.  Darrell Wagner’s costumes will take you on a trip through the decades with coats and tails, three piece suits, lovely dresses, and military fatigues.  Mike Ekelburg’s sounds provided a subtle backdrop for the show and Kevin Casey and his band (Katie Hutton, Sophia Indelicato, Jordan Perry, Nick Welker, Jamie Baker) gave full justice to the score.

It truly is a show that has a little something for everyone (comedy, drama, acting, singing, and dancing) and a dandy kickoff to the MRT season.

I Love a Piano runs at Maples Repertory Theatre through July 11.  Showtimes are at 2pm on June 27, 29-30, July 9 and 11 and at 7:30pm on June 27, July 2, 7, and 10. Tickets begin at $26 and can be obtained by calling the box office at 660-385-2924 or visiting www.maplesrep.com.  Maples Repertory Theatre is located at 102 N Rubey St in Macon, MO.

Photo provided by Maples Repertory Theatre

Maples Repertory Theatre’s ‘Looking Forward’ Season Begins with ‘I Love a Piano’ & ‘Greater Tuna’

Macon, MO–After a season off due to COVID-19, Maples Repertory Theatre returns to live performances with its “Looking Forward” season and it has a little something for everyone. The season kicks off with:

I LOVE A PIANO


June 16 – July 11, 2021

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin

Conceived by Ray Roderick & Michael Berkeley

This celebration of music and lyrics of Irving Berlin follows the journey of a piano as it moves in and out of American lives from the turn of the century to the present. Along the way, the story comes to vibrant life as the cast sings and dances over sixty of Irving Berlin’s most beloved songs including “Blue Skies”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, “Always”, “White Christmas”, and, of course, “I Love a Piano”.

  • Wed. June 16 – 7:30
  • Fri. June 18 – 2:00, 7:30
  • Sat. June 19 – 2:00, 7:30
  • Sun. June 20 – 2:00
  • Fri. June 25 – 2:00
  • Sun. June 27 – 2:00, 7:30
  • Tue. June 29 – 2:00
  • Wed. June 30 – 2:00
  • Fri. July 2 – 7:30
  • Wed. July 7 – 7:30
  • Fri. July 9 – 2:00
  • Sat. July 10 – 7:30
  • Sun. July 11 – 2:00

Featuring: Cassie Slater Wooley, Karl Hamilton, Emily Gardenhire, Andrew Scoggin, Taylor Kraft, and Jacob Barton

GREATER TUNA


June 23 – August 1, 2021

by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard

Two men play the entire cast of over twenty eccentric characters of both genders and various ages who live in the second smallest town in Texas. It’s an affectionate comment on small-town life and attitudes. Two of Maples Rep’s favorite comedic actors, Michael McIntire and Sean Riley, are slated to star.

  • Wed. June 23 – 7:30
  • Fri. June 25 – 7:30
  • Sat. June 26 – 2:00
  • Fri. July 2 – 2:00
  • Sat. July 3 – 2:00
  • Wed. July 7  – 2:00
  • Fri. July 9 – 7:30
  • Tues. July 13 – 2:00
  • Sat. July 17 – 7:30
  • Sun. July 18 – 2:00
  • Tues. July 20 – 2:00
  • Wed. July 21 – 2:00
  • Fri. July 23 – 7:30
  • Wed. July 28 – 7:30
  • Fri. July 30 – 2:00
  • Sat. July 31 – 7:30
  • Sun. Aug. 1 – 2:00

Tickets cost $33 for the Main Floor and $26 for the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased at www.maplesrep.com or by calling the Box Office at 660-385-2924. Maples Repertory Theatre is located at 102 N Rubey St in Macon, MO.

Pictures provided through courtesy of Maples Repertory Theatre

Maples Repertory Theatre Announces 2021 Season: Looking Forward

I Love a Piano

June 16 – July 11

This celebration of music and lyrics of Irving Berlin follows the journey of a piano as it moves in and out of American lives from the turn of the century to the present. Along the way, the story comes to vibrant life as the cast sings and dances over sixty of Irving Berlin’s most beloved songs including “Blue Skies”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, “Always”, “White Christmas”, and, of course, “I Love a Piano”.

Greater Tuna

June 23 – August 1

Two men play the entire cast of over twenty eccentric characters of both genders and various ages who live in the second smallest town in Texas. It’s an affectionate comment on small-town life and attitudes. Two of Maples Rep’s favorite comedic actors, Michael McIntire and Sean Riley, are slated to star.

Annie

July 16 – August 8

Everyone’s favorite orphan takes the Maples Rep stage to remind us all that optimism and hope will win the day.  Featuring a Tony Award-winning score including “Tomorrow” “Maybe” “It’s the Hard Knock Life” and “Little Girls”.  Annie is a lively, exuberant show loved by all ages.

Church Basement Ladies: You Smell Barn

September 29 – October  17

The ladies of the East Cornucopia Lutheran Church are famous for keeping the church running and meeting every hilarious challenge head on.  The new musical follows them home to see how chores family life test their mettle.  It’s nothing a hot dish can’t cure.

Ripcord

October 27 – November 7

Abby has always had a quiet room to herself at the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility. If a new roommate was assigned to the second bed, Abby – cantankerous and private – quickly got them out. That is until enthusiastic, optimistic Marilyn arrives. Soon Abby realizes that unseating Marilyn is going to take something special. A high-stakes bet quickly leads to an all-out war of comic proportions. Ripcord is an often slapstick, always surprising comedy about enemies who may or may not become friends.

Tis The Season: A Maples Rep Holiday Celebration

December 1-12

Christmas traditions come to life on stage in the all new, singing and dancing extravaganza.  Your favorite holiday songs and characters will delight the whole family.  It’s the perfect way to celebrate the season with your family and friends.

For tickets, visit http://maplesrep.com/tickets/. Maples Repertory Theatre is located at 102 N Rubey St in Macon, MO.

They Give the Gift of Laughter

bb-ultimatechristmasshow_7734

Noah Diaz (above), Jonathan Purcell (left), and Bill Grennan (right) star in The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) at the Blue Barn Theatre.

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned Christmas pageant and this is nothing like a good old-fashioned Christmas pageant.  This is The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor and is currently playing at the Blue Barn Theatre.

Once more, the Blue Barn presents a piece of metafiction as Bill Grennan, Noah Diaz, and Jonathan Purcell play embellished versions of themselves trying to salvage the Annual Holiday Variety Show and Christmas Pageant at St. Everybody’s Non-Denominational Universalist Church after a winter storm prevents all of the show’s acts from appearing.  Martin & Tichenor’s script walks a fine line between inspired genius and haphazard mess.  Martin & Tichenor rely on considerably more improvisation and audience participation than I’ve normally seen in scripts of this type.  In the hands of less capable actors and directors this show could easily fall on its face.  Luckily, this show has the benefit of the strong guiding hand of Randall T. Stevens and his trio of gifted comics to make the most out of this spectacle.

Feigning chaos is difficult.  Mimicking that sense of frustration, desperation, and flat out being lost requires a fine touch and Randall T. Stevens provides that touch with confident, surefire direction.  At no point did I doubt that his actors were not making up stuff off the tops of their heads and his staging is quite crafty as his performers make full use of the theatre as they vainly try to cobble together a watchable show.

Bill Grennan is a raging doofus and a hammy overactor.  Those are indeed compliments.  Grennan presents himself as a somewhat naïve waif who loves everything about Christmas, but is pretty oblivious to the world around him.  Whether he’s singing a racist version of White Christmas which goes over his head because he prefers music to lyrics or letting his cohorts hold an excessively long note because he interrupts a song for a speech, Grennan consistently proves himself to not be the brightest bulb on the tree.

The energy Grennan throws out is unbelievable as he maintains a frenetic pace throughout the show as he races about the theatre and especially when he indulges in scene chewing luxury as King Herod in an English panto about the Nativity.  Grennan also has a great light tenor voice as he leads the audience through a unique version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, a terrific medley of Christmas songs, and a rousing version of Jingle Bells.

Jonathan Purcell plays the stick in the mud of the group.  His exaggerated self is an ultra Christian with a pathological fear of Santa Claus and is quite hypocritical with his constant judging of others, referring to Grennan as a pagan, and growing angry when a holiday greeting other than Merry Christmas is used.

Purcell has comedic timing that simply cannot be taught.  He shines as a very Jewish Mary in the Nativity sequence, is quite a strong percussionist playing bells and xylophone in Jingle Bells, slays in a dual performance with Grennan as the Rat King in a miniature ballet version of The Nutcracker, and does an expert job of seeming like he has several rods shoved up his back at all times.

Noah Diaz brings his own strong comedic chops to bear by interpreting himself as a greedy little slob.  For him, Christmas is all about the getting as he pines for high dollar Christmas gifts, tries to steal gifts from a gift exchange, and cons his two friends out of money by pretending to be collecting for the Salvation Army.  Diaz excels in high energy farce especially in a signature number extolling the virtues of Mrs. Claus as he laments about an overall lack of strong women in Christmas.  Diaz does need to keep his projection up as I lost his lines on a few occasions when he dropped his volume.

I give this show an A+ on the technical side of things.  I absolutely loved Martin Scott Marchitto’s simple set of Christmas tree, gifts, and cutouts of Santa, fireplace, and Nativity.  Carol Wisner’s lighting was festive and always apropos to the moments of the show.  Melissa Penkava Koza’s costumes were perfect and outrageously funny, especially a getup for Grennan when he misinterprets gay apparel complete with Juicy shorts and a, ahem, well placed piece of mistletoe.  Craig Marsh does it again with pitch perfect Christmas sounds that hit the mark for the holiday season.

Some of the improvised jokes fizzled and the audience participation scenes will always hinge on how creative and on the ball that particular crowd is, but this rather zany and irreverent show will provide some deep belly laughs and a truly good time at the Blue Barn this holiday season due to the amazingly talented trio running amok.

The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) plays at the Blue Barn through December 18.  Showtimes are Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 6pm.  Additional performances will be held on Dec 7 and 14 at 7:30pm and at 2pm on December 4 and 17-18.  Please note that performances on Dec 2-3, 9-11, 16 and the 6pm show on Dec 17 are sold out.  Ticket prices are $30 for adults $25 for students, seniors (65+), T.A.G. members, or groups of 10 or more.  For reservations call 402-345-1576 from 10am-4pm Mon-Fri or visit www.bluebarn.org.  Parental discretion is advised for this production.  The Blue Barn Theatre is located at 1106 S 10th St in Omaha, NE.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  During intermission, stop and visit the Giving HeART’s Tree in the Blue Barn lobby.  The Blue Barn is partnering with ENOA (Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging) to bring a Merry Christmas to the elderly in eastern Nebraska.  A $20 donation to ENOA will allow you to select an ornament from the Giving HeART’s Tree and your $20 will be used to buy gift cards for the elderly in eastern Nebraska.  For some, it will be the only gift they receive.  Please be generous this holiday season.

Start Dreaming of a White Christmas

OMAHA IS GUARANTEED A WHITE CHRISTMAS!

The holiday classic skates into the Orpheum Theater November 15

OMAHA, NEBRASKA (October 18, 2016) — Everybody will get in the holiday mood when the stage production of the beloved musical IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS plays at the Orpheum Theater November 15 through 20, as part of the Omaha Performing Arts Broadway Series.

Tickets, starting at $30 each, are available by going online at TicketOmaha.com; by phone at 402.345.0606; or by going to the Ticket Omaha box office inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 12th and Douglas. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets by calling 402.661.8516 or toll-free at 866.434.8587.

Omaha Performing Arts will honor the men and women of the armed forces, veterans and their families at the third annual Omaha Performing Arts’ Heroes’ Night at the Wednesday, November 16 performance of IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS. Gold Star and Blue Star Families – families who have lost a service member in the line of duty and Blue Star Families will be honored. Blue Star is the nation’s largest chapter-based military family support organization which strengthens military families and our nation by connecting communities and fostering leadership. Its members are military families from all branches of the armed services including National Guard and Reserve.

A 15% discount on tickets has been extended to all members of the military for the Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances of IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS. Military members must use the promo code GOLD when purchasing tickets through Ticket Omaha. The promotion is not valid after November 16.

A private reception will be held for Gold Star and Blue Star Families, and a color guard will present the colors before the start of the performance as the audience sings the National Anthem.

IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS tells the story of two showbiz buddies putting on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn owned by their former Army general. The now successful Broadway partners become romantically involved with two sisters also staying at the inn. The show is the perfect opportunity for lots of dancing, singing, romance, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, including “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sister,” “Blue Skies” and the unforgettable title song. IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS promises to be a merry and bright experience for the entire family!

The stage production is based on the Paramount Pictures film, written for the screen by Norman Kransa, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank.  It starred Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen.

Performances will be at the Orpheum Theater located at 409 S 16th St in Omaha, NE on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Nov 15-17 at 7:30pm; Friday, November 18 at 8pm; Saturday, November 19 at 2pm and 8pm; Sunday, November 20 at 1:30pm and 7pm.

For more information on IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS, go to www.ticketomaha.com or visit www.whitechristmasthemusical.com