Festival Theatre, Edinburgh Five stars The stage adaptation of the Irving Berlin scored 1954 feelgood movie has been on the circuit for almost a decade now. Going by this latest outing for David Ives and Paul Blake's version, it hasn't lost any of its sparkle. For anyone who's been stranded in a remote ski lodge, the story revolves around successful showbiz duo Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who learnt their song and dance chops when in the army during World War Two. Womanising Phil cons straight-laced Bob into boarding a train to wintry Vermont with singing sisters Betty and Judy Haynes. The hotel they're staying at turns out to be run – badly - by Bob and Phil's much-loved former General, who inspires his former charges to stage a benefit show in his barn, while love between the two double acts blossoms out of season. It's a heart-warmingly sentimental romance that must have had a significant resonance when first seen so soon after the war. Almost sixty years on, David Morgan's big, bright production goes beyond nostalgia to capture the full show-stopping razzamatazz in the flesh. As the couples, Stephen Houghton and Paul Robinson as Bob and Phil and Rachel Stanley and Jayde Westaby as Betty and Judy do Berlin's numbers more than justice in a breathless set of routines supported by a full ensemble choreographed by Randy Skinner and accompanied by a live band led by Andrew Corcoran. Songs like Sisters, Happy Holiday and the title theme may be the main attraction here, but ultimately this is a show about community, and about how, if that community pulls together, it can conquer any adversity, whatever the weather.
The Herald, December 5th 2013 ends