Book Reservations Now for Holiday Inn!

Book Reservations Now for Holiday Inn!

Cast of "Holiday Inn" (©Joan Marcus)


“Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical” brings the classic 1942 film to the Broadway stage for the first time.

It tells the story of a popular musical trio who becomes a duo when leading man, Jim Hardy (Bryce Pinkham) decides to leave the act behind to live on a farm in Connecticut. The farm was supposed to be for him and his fiancé, Lila Dixon (Megan Sikora), but she stays on with the act with their friend Ted Hanover (Corbin Bleu). At the farm, Jim realizes that he’s not as skilled at growing crops as he was at songwriting and performing. So, with the help of his actor friends from NYC and a lovely, single local schoolteacher who used to live at the farm (Linda Mason, played by Lora Lee Gayer), Jim turns his giant farmhouse into the Holiday Inn—an inn where guests can see wonderful performances over holiday weekends.

I never saw the film and (wrongly) assumed that “Holiday Inn” was only about Christmas—as its “White Christmas” earned Irving Berlin an Academy Award for Best Original Song. But, as I flipped through the Playbill before the lights went down, I realized that “Holiday Inn” features all the major holidays and that I knew most of the songs already! In addition to a charming Christmas sequence, audiences are treated to fantastic numbers about Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter and the Fourth of July. It is important to note that the controversial “Abraham” performance from the film version of “Holiday Inn” is not included in the stage version.

“Holiday Inn” is the feel-good musical of the season and offers top-notch performances from an extremely capable cast. Bleu, taking on the Fred Astaire role from the film, dances with a perfect combination of athleticism and grace. His strength as a hoofer only adds to his charm and I was beyond impressed with his tap dancing, especially during the amazing Independence Day sequence.

In their group act, Ted Hanover is known for his dancing and Jim Hardy is known for his voice, so it’s no surprise that Pinkham shares that skill in spades. Pinkham’s voice is one of my favorites among contemporary performers, but his acting prowess equally shines on that stage. He excels at comedic timing, as well as emotional vulnerability, and it’s so easy to root for his Jim Hardy, especially as he woos Linda.

My hat is off to the entire cast of “Holiday Inn”—especially the ensemble. The group dance numbers are so energetic and Denis Jones’ choreography left my mouth hanging open in awe on multiple occasions. The Christmas routine is ridiculous in the best way possible—I couldn’t clap loud enough for how much I loved watching that sequence unfold. 

If you enjoy uplifting musical comedies with a healthy dose of brilliantly executed dance sequences, get yourself to Studio 54 for Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of “Holiday Inn.”

“Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical,” now in previews, officially opens on October 6. Tickets are on sale through January 15, 2017.

Studio 54 is located at 254 W. 54th St., btw Broadway & Eighth Avenue.

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