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Yule Have a Blast

Following closely to the storyline of the beloved 1954 movie starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, "White Christmas" is returning to the TPAC for a limited engagement of only eight performances.

Lindsay Morris
October 28, 2018

Christmas isn’t Christmas unless there’s snow on the ground, right? Well, typically, our chances of a white Christmas in Oklahoma are pretty slim. But if you’re ready to get in the Christmas spirit a month early, hop on the closest one horse open sleigh — or your car — to see Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, coming to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Nov. 20-25.

White Christmas tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a cozy Vermont inn who fall for a stunning sister act in the process. The show is packed with dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, including “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” and “Blue Skies.”

If you have a sister, you haven’t truly bonded until you’ve hung Christmas stockings around the fireplace while singing the holiday tune “Sisters” from White Christmas. Now is your chance to see that magical song performed in person. And in case you don’t know the song, “Sisters,” surely you know Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and can appreciate the Yuletide cheer that exudes from that age-old tune.

“The feeling you get from White Christmas is such a joyous experience,” says Karilyn Ashley Surratt, an ensemble member. “The storyline does a good job expressing that joy and laughter and carrying it into the New Year.”

Surratt is no stranger to Oklahoma. She credits her roots in dancing to Tulsa, where she spent her first six years of life and started dancing as a tyke. “You have no idea how excited I am to come back to Tulsa, where I originally discovered my talent for dancing,” she says.

Oklahomans will undoubtedly connect to the storyline in White Christmas, Surratt says.

“Oklahomans in particular are going to love it. [It reflects] the kind of people we are. We’re supportive of each other and uplift each other. I think you’ll find that in the characters in the script.”

Before Surratt joined the cast of White Christmas, she was a dance major at Oklahoma City University and went on to become a Rockette from 2005-14. “There’s always been a Christmas show in every season of my life whether it was White Christmas, Yuletide Magic at OCU, or the Rockettes.”

Dance continues to be a way of life for Surratt. “To me, choreography has always been a universal language; a way for me to express myself,” she says.

For this Oklahoma girl, White Christmas will be a reunion of sorts. “It’s sort of a homecoming to be able to perform White Christmas. It’s a show I love so much, and it’s also coming home to Oklahoma, where family and friends who live there will be able to come to see me there rather than having to come all the way to New York.”

It will be easy for the audience to follow along to the familiar storyline and loveable characters. “Audiences love it; hearing all those familiar songs and being able to tap your toe,” Surratt says.

The New York Times describes Irving Berlin’s White Christmas as “a cozy trip down memory lane that should be put on your wish list.”

White Christmas features music and lyrics by Berlin, book by David Ives and Paul Blake, and is based upon the Paramount Pictures film written for the screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank.

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St. | Tulsa
Nov. 20-21: 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 23-24: 2 p.m., 8 p.m.
Nov. 25: 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m.