No question - of all the holiday shows out there (and there are dozens), the 5th Avenue's 'White Christmas' is one of the biggest: biggest cast, biggest production, and with a big ticket price to match, it's true. So now I shall tell you what you get for your money, should you shell out for tickets (and get on it! Most of the cheap seats are gone!):
Irving Berlin's genius. Sure, you're expecting to hear "White Christmas" - you might even be expecting to sing along (and you will). But rating even higher on the kid-o-meter is the infectious "Blue Skies." The dancing to that one is so elegant, so sophisticated, so effortless and suave that I couldn't take my eyes off the stage for a second. My 10-year-old male companion rated that song as his favorite moment of the show.
Immaculate performances. Those voices! Those dance moves! Constant, colorful action; world-class twirling and trilling, with a shot of dry humor that was not lost on 8-year-olds.
Incredible visuals. A veritible feast for your eyes. Kids are held rapt by continuously changing and ingenious staging and sets.
Snow! Inside the 5th Avenue Theatre! Even the biggest cynic will gaze upward in wonder as a heavy dusting of "snow" drifts down from the rafters. Hey - we're not sick of the white stuff around here yet. This so delighted my kids I thought we'd never get out of the theater.
Naughtiness: Only one sketchy reference, for those toting kids: a comment about how married people rarely have sex.
Romance and holiday cheer: The guy gets the girl, the other guy finally gets the other girl (after a big misunderstanding), the crotchety old guy gets the gruff old girl, and there is much celebrating.
In short - worth every penny. Take the kids - but know that evening performances don't end until 10:45 p.m. Also worth noting: Don't be tempted by the new, taller booster cushions for kids. They slide all over the seat! My son spent the first act butt-surfing. Opt instead for one or two of the flatter, grippier old cushions.
Ooooh - and even if you don't go to the show, do check out the new marquee. Glitter-tastic!
White Christmas shows through Dec. 30 at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. Tickets here.