Westerville Native, Darien Crago has been dreaming of her "White Christmas" for quite some time, having been dancing since the age of 2, first with the New Albany Ballet Company. It was her mom, however, upon having her daughter move to NYC to pursue her career in early 2012, who first suggested she would be on the local stage again.
"My mom has always subscribed to the Broadway Across America series, so when she got a postcard with what would be coming to Columbus, she sent it to me with the note, 'Do your best to get into one of these,' " Crago laughed. She is now touring as an ensemble member and understudy for Rhoda in "Irving Berlin's White Christmas", coming to the Ohio Theater, November 20-25th.
While her mom is ecstatic, Darien couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of the show. "Never in a million years did I think a role like this would be possible this year," Crago gushes, "I grew up watching this movie." While crowds have been packing in to see the touring production, in part, because it's a wonderful family holiday tradition, Crago is quick to express how lucky she feels to be working amongst, "the most amazingly talented cast and crew."
The Broadway production of "White Christmas" is based on the 1954 film about a male song-and-dance team that try to save a suffering inn, and while in the process, fall in love with a pair of sisters. This version features Irving Berlin classics, such as "Blue Skies," and "I Love a Piano," and of course, the title song, "White Christmas." "It is a wonderful family classic, filled with many of the traditional numbers you would expect from the movie, but it's Broadway, so there is the additional glam." Crago thrives on the live stage, and adores the huge dance numbers of the production, "The tap dancing is definitely my favorite part. The energy is amazing! We typically get a round of applause mid-way through several of the numbers, which is a very welcomed energizer, as those numbers are tough!" she laughs. While you might be able to guess based on the title, there's also a little theatrical surprise thrown in on stage at the end of the show.
The 23 year old Westerville native has been dutifully prepping her fellow cast members for the return to her hometown, "I've been teaching them that when someone yells, "O-H", they've got to respond with "I-O"!, she chuckles. She has assured me that she will inaugurate them by visiting some of her local favorites, "I'm looking forward to walking around German Village, and definitely hitting Schnieder's Bakery in Westerville," she says, "but it really is such a gift to be able to back home with my family, doing this fabulous show, here in Central Ohio, especially over Thanksgiving," her humility and graciousness apparent. While gifted with luck and Mom's good karma, Darien Crago's magnetic energy, hard work, and talent are definitely worth a trip to the Ohio Theater. Bring your family down and join Darien and hers, as she returns home for the holidays.
Irving Berlin's White Christmas plays the Ohio Theater starting Tuesday, November 20th through Sunday, November 25th. Go to : http://columbus.broadway.com/shows/white-christmas-baa/ for additional information regarding ticket purchases and show times.