The first big holiday seasonal production is coming up at ZACH, “White Christmas.” The new Topfer Theatre is able to bring in bigger and more involved productions and the ZACH family is thrilled about it! We spoke to Meredith McCall, who plays Betty in the show, about the production.
Q. How long have you been with ZACH?
A.I did my first production in 1991, it was called ‘Let’s Do It,” a Cole Porter cabaret.
Q. Have you been in a holiday show at ZACH in the past?
A. I’ve been in the “Santaland Diaries” for the last 14 years. But, I can’t perform in it this year, as I can’t be in both shows unfortunately.
Q. What’s your favorite part about performing?
A. I love the opportunity it gives me to try on different lives.
Q. As far as holiday shows go, do you have a favorite?
A. I really do love the “Santaland Diaries” in that it offers a little bit of something that other Christmas entertainment doesn’t provide. It’s a more humorous look at the holidays, family and the chaos that surrounds the holidays. More of a palette cleanser for the holidays.
Q. Who is the best audience for White Christmas?
A. I believe it’s a great show for everybody. It’s designed for all ages (as “Santaland Diaries” is not). You can bring grandma and a 5-year-old and they will all be dazzled and leave with a happy feeling.
Q. Is the first year that ZACH is putting on “White Christmas”?
A. We have never been able to do a production of this size in our former space. One thing that is so exciting about the new theatre is that it allows us to handle a show with a cast of 27, 20 people dancing at once, etc. It’s just one of the many, many wonderful things about the new theatre.
Q. Do you have a favorite song or dance in “White Christmas”?
A. Near the beginning of the show, they do a medley of “Let Yourself Go” and “Happy Holidays.” It’s very retro in feel with the choreography and arrangement of it. It speaks to the nostalgic feeling that I have for my childhood about Christmas. It calls to mind those Christmas specials that Bing Crosby used to do when I was a kid.
Q. Tell me about your character.
A. Rosemary Clooney played this role in the movie, and the character’s name is Betty Haymes. She’s the older sister in a performing sister duo, she has been a little unlucky in love, but still innocent.
Q. What’s her biggest song?
A. She and her sister do a signature song from the movie, Sisters. A number in the second act, “Love you Didn’t Do Right by Me,” it’s a torch song (torch songs are usually sad, love songs).
Q. What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season in Austin?
A. I love that we celebrate as a community, regardless of where someone lives, their background, etc. There are all these communal activities, caroling and Zilker Tree. We all come together and enjoy the season.
Plus, everyone can come out and have a good old-fashioned Christmas at “White Christmas.”
Q. What’s your New Year’s Resolution?
A. I’m not much of one to do New Year’s resolutions. I don’t have any projects lined up for the spring, thinking about putting together a cabaret to perform in the spring or summer.
WHEN: Wednesday, December 5 to Sunday, December 30, 2012.
ZACH’s New Topfer Theatre
202 South Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704
Tickets start at $25, and can be purchased here.