Feature: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

From the November 15, 2012 edition

The cast of Broadway Across America’s “White Christmas” had a white rehearsal week. The practice schedule for this musical stage production’s current tour was cut short two days because of Hurricane Sandy’s rain and snow.

Not to worry, though, said one Central Ohio dancer whom the “White Christmas” tour is bringing home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“This is a very professional, energetic group and definitely a well-established show,” said Darien Crago, a 23-year-old Westerville native.

This is ensemble dancer Crago’s first tour with “White Christmas.” In fact, this is Crago’s first big performance since moving to New York in January.

“Never in a million years did I think a role like this would be possible this year,” Crago said.

Her mom even sent her the Broadway Across America schedule earlier this year as a joke, asking her to please get on one of the bills so they could watch her in Columbus.

Crago admitted, though, a lifetime of hard work has gone into her burgeoning career. She started dancing at 2, taking lessons from New Albany Ballet Company, and completed her high school classes online so she could spend more time studying dance.

Landing a spot on this particular tour was like getting snow on Christmas.

“I grew up watching this movie,” Crago gushed.

“White Christmas” is based on the 1954 film about a song-and-dance team that falls in love with a pair of sisters as they all try to save a suffering inn.

The stage adaption features plenty of Irving Berlin classics, such as “Blue Skies,” “How Deep Is the Ocean,” and, of course, “White Christmas.” There are energetic dance numbers galore. Take, for example, the start of act two’s dance to “I Love a Piano.”

“It’s an extraordinary production number of tap dancing,” Crago said.

Plus, the show is capped by a theatrical snow fall that will make the entire theater look a lot like Christmas.