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Apr 20, 2024

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Irving Berlin’s
Holiday Inn
A Paper Mill Must See

by James Dombrowski

Holiday Inn, a Irving Berlin classic, can be seen on stage at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn through December 30th. The Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey is the premier regional Theatre in America having won the acclaimed Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre in America.

In Photo: Talia Dombrowski, who will perform in the Nutcracker on December 15 at the famed Symphony Hall in Newark as a student of Newark School of the Arts, interviewing Jeff Kready who plays Ted Hanover, the dancing sensation modeled after Fred Astaire in the must see Holiday Inn. Talia asked Fred if in his real life he had any of the traits portrayed by Ted. “I hope not, as I would not steal my best friend’s girlfriend,” the man from Kansas stated.  Photo by Jim Dombrowski

If you were planning on seeing a Broadway Show this Christmas Holiday season with the entire family then Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn is a must see. No need to deal with tunnel traffic or Manhattan’s overpriced parking lots when Millburn offers Broadway productions.

The famed musical is based on the cinematic production of crooner Bing Crosby and the greatest dancer of all time Fred Astaire.  The stage version directed by Gordon Greenberg, choreographed by Dennis Jones, and conducted by Shawn Gough is set on stage with costumes and lighting, and brought to life with song and dance that has the audience tapping their feet and singing along the entire show. One of the best shows I’ve reviewed in the past 10 years … a great evening out during the Holiday season.

In Photo: Talia Dombrowski chats with Paige Faure who plays Lila Dixon in Holiday Inn. Paige and Jeff Kready are both from Kansas. Kready and Faure have both performed at the Paper Mill in the past and love their return.  They have also hit the Broadway stage:  Faure in Cinderella and Kready in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.  Jeff Kready will be returning to Broadway in the spring playing in Tootsie.  Talia asked Paige if she could relate to Lila in her life.  “Yes I can as I’m very independent.  I can remember when I had a roommate, I would fix stuff in our apartment alone instead of asking for help,” voiced Faure.  (Lila loses her farm to Jim Hardy and moves into an apartment and takes a job as a teacher.)  The plot of Holiday Inn is full of real life occurrences with the legendary songs of Irving Berlin making this a Holiday treat for the entire family. 

In Photo: Ann Harada who plays Louise in Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn chats with Talia Dombrowski at the opening night cast party. Talia queried Ann about her character’s personality and if she saw any similarities in her real life. Ann is the housekeeper at Mason Farm which Jim Hardy bought from Lila. Ann liked the question from the 11 year old as the shows theme is about happiness and life’s tough decisions.   Ann noted that her motherly character of helping Jim throughout the show has similarities in her real life as a mother.  Ann’s character is very intriguing as she is also a match maker and a friend. Photo by Jim Dombrowski