The Broadway Show That's Sure to Get You in the Holiday Spirit Is Streaming Free Online
Sure, Christmas music has a way of getting us into a festive mood. But if you can combine show-stopping dancing with holiday tunes, now we’re really talking. Holiday Inn, the 2016 Irving Berlin songbook musical, does just that: In two hours, it dishes up 20 songs, 20 accompanying dances and a hefty helping of holiday cheer.
Though the Broadway musical closed in January, now through December 8, you can stream the show in its entirety online, thanks to PBS. Here are a few of our favorite highlights from the feel-good musical, which follows a performer who moves to the country and dreams of transforming an old farmhouse into a B&B that puts on lavish shows each holiday throughout the year.
1. When we learned Corbin Bleu is an incredible tapper
Corbin Bleu (left) and Bryce Pinkham rehearsing Holiday Inn. Photo by Jenny Anderson, Courtesy Polk & Co.
Though he played a basketball jock in the High School Musical movies, Bleu displays fancy footwork of another kind throughout Holiday Inn. And he’s not just a celebrity who muddles through a step-ball-change. In his third Broadway turn, he proves he’s more Fred Astaire (who played the original Ted Hanover in the 1942 movie Holiday Inn) than Disney darling. Don’t miss Bleu’s “Firecracker” number at 1:41:00—he literally sets the stage on fire.
2. When we kept humming because we realized we knew every song
is pure Irving Berlin gold with familiar tunes like “Blue Skies,” “Easter Parade” and “Steppin’ Out with My Baby.” Though the original movie version had a smattering of his songs, the Broadway show packed in even more, like “Dancing Cheek to Cheek,” which appears as a ballroom number. And, of course, there are the beloved Christmas classics: “White Christmas”? Check. “Happy Holiday”? Check.
3. When we discovered it’s possible to jump rope, tap dance and put up Christmas decorations simultaneously
The cast of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn. Photo by Joan Marcus. Courtesy Polk & Co.
And when the number ends, it literally stops the show for 30 seconds of applause. Check out the five-minute extravaganza, choreographed by Denis Jones, starting at 46 minutes in. You’ll probably watch it more than once.
4. When we fantasized about skipping the big city to open an identical bed and breakfast
…Oh, wait. Is that just us? For now, dancing around the house as you put up decorations will have to do.