Bryan Padgett and

Jessica Hawkins

The traditional start of the Christmas season isn’t until after Thanksgiving.

But the cast at Footlite Musicals are getting a head start.

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Starting Friday, the Indianapolis theater troupe will be featuring “White Christmas,” based on the classic holiday film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

Bryan Padgett, who portrays Phil Davis, and Jessica Hawkins, cast as Betty Haynes, break down what to look for out of “White Christmas.”

What can fans of the original “White Christmas” expect from this?

Padgett: The nice thing is, if you enjoy the movie, it’s a really good adaptation. It’s not 100 percent, but all of the classics are there.

For people who aren’t familiar with the story, what will they find in this performance?

Hawkins: I grew up on this movie, and have loved it since I was a little girl. It really is a story about Army buddies with a song and dance show. They follow two singing sisters to Vermont, and stick around to help the struggling owner of the inn they stay at.

Is it difficult to take such an iconic movie and bring it to the stage?

Padgett: It has its challenges, since I think some people only know the movie. But if you have the essence of what the song is trying to portray to the audience, I think you can bring your own version of it.

Hawkins: It’s a fairly easy transition from film to stage. Because the characters are so iconic, it’s a little bit of fun to do them a little bit different.

How did you try to prepare and embody your role?

Padgett: It’s more about what I can bring. I may not be the best dancer, which, in the movie, Danny Kaye is a fantastic dancer. I’m not Danny Kaye, and I’m not trying to be him. I’m trying to bring my style in today’s interpretation of the material.

Hawkins: I’m an older sister, so I was just putting myself in the shoes of being protective like Betty. She’s very guarded, and I think she’s been hurt by men in the past.


Show times: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 28 and 29, and Dec. 4 to 6 and 11 to 13; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, and Dec. 7 and 14.

WHERE: Hedback Theater, 1847 North Alabama Street, Indianapolis, Ind.

Tickets: $20 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances, and $10 for Thursday performances. $10 for children at any show.

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Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.