Holiday inn

The taptastic ‘Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn’ at Drury Lane serves a seasonal vibe

“Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” –  

Like the 1942 film that inspired it, “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn,” which premiered on Broadway five years ago, is a quaint jukebox tuner whose appeal rests on its score of the greatest hits and hits. his exuberant production numbers.

For proof, look no further than the taptastic revival of the Drury Lane Theater directed and choreographed by the great Matt Crowle, who fully understands why the sane “Holiday Inn” is the right musical right now.


Adrian Aguilar, center, has come out of retirement to star in Drury Lane Theater’s cover of the sparkling jukebox tuner “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn“.
– Courtesy of Brett Beiner

In his program note, Crowle makes reference to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the resumption of live theater can provide relief to a discouraged audience. He writes: “Sometimes the cure for your ailments is as simple as stomping your feet and humming to a tune that has comforted weary souls for generations. “

That’s the function of the 1946 “Holiday Inn”, where Berlin favorites “Steppin ‘Out With My Baby,” “Blue Skies,” “Cheek to Cheek,” and the enduring “White Christmas” make up a hokey plot. Its production numbers – whose exuberant, old-fashioned choreography is reminiscent of the golden age of musical theater – and talented cast led by the affable and gracious Adrian Aguilar make this confection even sweeter.


Danielle Davis, left, plays Louise, the handyman who helps newly retired crooner Jim (Adrian Aguilar) run his recently acquired Connecticut farm in Drury Lane Theater's

Danielle Davis, left, plays Louise, the handyman who helps retired crooner Jim (Adrian Aguilar) run his recently acquired Connecticut farm in “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” at Drury Lane Theater.
– Courtesy of Brett Beiner

Crowle brought Aguilar out of retirement to play the role of crooner Jim – a third of a song and dance number – who decides after years on the road to retire from show biz and live quietly on a farm. of Connecticut. It surprises his partners – his girlfriend Lila (Darilyn Burtley) and his best friend Ted (Drew Humphrey, a good dancer) – who don’t feel like leaving the stage. They continue to happen as Jim retires to the farm. There, he meets “restorative” Louise (the dynamic Danielle Davis) and Linda (Erica Stephan), a former aspiring singer turned teacher whose family has lost the farm to foreclosure. Confronted with the same fate, Jim accepts Louise’s suggestion to turn the farm into an inn open only on statutory holidays, with Linda and her fellow singers / dancers providing the entertainment. His adventure and budding romance with Linda are turned upside down by Ted, who after being abandoned by Lila, returns in search of a new female partner and sets his sights on Linda.



Darilyn Burtley, left, and Drew Humphrey, second from left, play the song and dance trio who set out on their own in the Drury Lane Theater cover

Darilyn Burtley, left, and Drew Humphrey, second from left, play as members of a song and dance trio who set out on their own in the Drury Lane Theater cover of “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” directed by director / choreographer Matt Crowle.
– Courtesy of Brett Beiner

Aguilar and Stephan are a charming duo. In addition, Crowle’s small but powerful ensemble is made up of leading tap singers, as evidenced by Humphrey’s cheerful “Shaking the Blues Away” and superb “Let’s Say It With Firecrackers”. The latter includes a duet with Nicole Scimeca, who alternates with Lily Kocourek as Charlie, a precocious youngster whose sole purpose is to remind Jim of his increasingly precarious financial situation.

In the end, the “Holiday Inn” on Drury Lane delivers what Crowle promises: holiday cheer in cozy Technicolor, just when we need it most.

• • •

Site: Drury Lane Theater, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, (630) 530-0111, drurylanetheatre.com

Schedule : 1:30 p.m. Wednesday; 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday; 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. from Sunday to January 9

Tickets: $ 59 to $ 74 with dinner theater packages available

Duration of operation: About 2 hours 10 minutes, including intermission

Car park: In the lot

Rating: For all ages

Precautions against covid19: Customers must wear masks except when eating or drinking


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