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White Christmas. This production has its origins in Irving Berlin's patriotic music, post-World War II euphoria, and a cultural-artistic worldview that saw all military officers as bluff, benign father figures, and postulated that most of life's problems could be fixed by putting on a show in the barn. The 1954 film, despite Irving Berlin's wonderful songs and the star power of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Allen and Rosemary Clooney, is almost unwatchable today. This script is by Paul Blake of the St. Louis Municipal Opera and — surprisingly — David Ives, author of the verbally dexterous, hyper-clever set of one-acts called All in the Timing. Although the script tightens the movie's plot a bit, it remains silly and insubstantial: A couple of cynical song-and-dance guys fall in love with a pair of singing sisters; misunderstandings ensue and get resolved; everyone comes together at the end to help the men's beloved onetime Army commander, who's trying without success to keep a Vermont inn solvent, despite an unseasonal shortage of snow. This production is glitzy and practiced, and it doesn't achieve its desired effect until the end of the first act, when the cast joins forces for "Blue Skies," one of the most exuberant songs in the universe. Act two begins on an equal high with "I Love a Piano" — another breathtaking number, beautifully choreographed by Patti Colombo, in which male and female tappers join forces in a joyful and prolonged celebration of music and dance. If you're willing to put the reasoning part of your brain to sleep for a couple of hours and indulge in pink-tinged Christmas nostalgia, this is the show for you. Presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company and Denver Center Attractions through December 30, Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-893-4100, www.denvercenter.org. Reviewed December 6.

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