The John G. Shedd Institute for the Performing Arts is dreaming of a white Christmas, and Eugene audiences should be, too. In December, Shedd Theatricals will present Holiday Inn, the first musical they’ve put on stage in two years.
Holiday Inn is a 2016 Broadway stage adaptation of composer and songwriter Irving Berlin’s 1942 movie musical by the same name. The movie starred Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, and introduced to the public classic numbers like “Happy Holiday” and “White Christmas.”
Packed top to bottom with musical numbers, Holiday Inn tells the story of a “song-and-dance man” who leaves the business and moves out to a rundown Connecticut farm, which he turns into an inn with the help of a local school teacher. The inn puts on performances to celebrate each holiday, hence the name. The Shedd’s executive director, Jim Ralph, calls the production a “classic backstage musical,” or a show within a show.
Ralph says The Shedd typically puts on a celebratory and holiday-oriented show during the month of December. But last year’s very COVID Christmas caused inevitable setbacks. Though concerts and guest artists have The Shedd’s doors open to audiences, Holiday Inn will be their first musical since December 2019.
Ralph says Holiday Inn is full of heart, and that theater-goers can look forward to a great cast, plenty of comedy, plenty of dance and, above all, “all these darn songs.”
“Even if you don’t think you know them, a lot you do just because they’re in your ear bone,” he says. “The songs are just fabulous and really well-chosen.”
Holiday Inn runs at The Shedd’s Jaqua Concert Hall at 7:30 pm Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 with 2 pm matinees Dec. 5 and 19. Tickets are between $29 and $39, with discounts available, at The Shedd Institute ticket office (541-434-7000) or online at TheShedd.org/HolidayInn.