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Encore Theatre Bringing 'White Christmas' to the Stage

Performances will be held Dec. 14-16 at the Libertyville Civic Center.

"Sisters." "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing." "Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)."

Do you know what all of these songs have in common?

They're all featured in "White Christmas," and you can see them performed live when the Encore Theatre group presents the musical Dec. 14-16 at the Libertyville Civic Center.

The Christmas classic will feature area youths singing and dancing—including tapping—their way through Irving Berlin's popular numbers.

"It's very exciting. I really like this show," said 13-year-old Jacob Rudolphi.

Rudolphi and fellow Highland Middle School student Jack Miller will play the entertainment duo of Phil Davis and Bob Wallace, respectively. The roles were made famous by Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in the movie version of "White Christmas."

"It's definitely an experience," said Miller, 13. "It's so fun to be playing a guy with such a good heart."

"It's one of the most fun shows I've ever done," Miller added. While it's a holiday-themed musical, there's also a lot of activity taking place, said Miller.

Rudolphi said this production is particularly exciting because in his last show, he played a serious character—and Rudolphi is admittedly not so serious.

"Being Phil really suits me," said Rudolphi.

Alice Lillydahl, 12, and Michelle Nee, 13, will play singing sisters Judy and Betty Haynes. Both girls attend Highland Middle School.

"This is one of my first lead parts," said Lillydahl. "(Judy) is generally just fun and playful but not stupid. She has such great lines. I really love yelling at Phil."

She enjoys the ensemble numbers in the production.

"Everybody's really involved a lot," said Lillydahl.

She also enjoys singing "Sisters" with Nee.

"She's just so good," said Lillydahl.

Nee said she has been in 11 or 12 productions with Encore Theatre. She looks forward to bringing Betty Haynes to life on stage.

"She has some pretty sassy lines, and I love working with Alice (Lillydahl)," said Nee. "It's just a really fun role in general."

The young performers said they are both nervous and excited about performing "White Christmas" in just two weeks.

"I'm half nervous, half excited—but in all, I know it's going to be awesome," said Miller.

To purchase tickets for the production, visit the Encore Theatre website.

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