This season, everyone is celebrating their holiday traditions but this year is a special one for Kimberly Peaker-Lozano. The director is heading up the Stars production of "White Christmas," based on her favorite Christmas film.
"It was one of those things when I would not normally say yes to a Christmas show because I'm busy. But it was an opportunity I was thrilled to take."
At some point this month, Peaker-Lozano will watch the 1954 film starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye that inspired the musical, along with daughter Courtney.
"We have to watch it with each other the first time (of the season). We have to be wrapping presents. ... (And) we would stop and do the 'Sisters' number."
In the Stars show, opening Friday, Sarah Hadley and Victoria Tiger don the feathered fans as Betty and Judy Haynes, sisters with a nightclub act that catches the eye of producers Bob (Kyle Ball) and Phil (Jacob Chivington). The men, old Army buddies, accompany the ladies to a Vermont lodge run by their former commanding officer, General Waverly (Roy Scarazzo), who needs to draw in business.
In addition to acting, Ball and Tiger performed double duty, serving as the show's vocal director and choreographer, respectively.
"What's pretty major to this story is the choreography. In the movie, Vera-Ellen (Judy) is such a strong dancer. The choreographer and actors stepped up their game" for this show, Peaker-Lozano said.
Fans of the film will have lots to look forward to, in part because of the hard work of the cast and crew, who studied the movie to pick up idioms in the dialogue or, in the case of costume designer Laura Engel, the movie's vintage look.
"It's very important to me they (costumes) be period-specific, late 1954," the director said. "She did a phenomenal job. I’m really pleased with the result. There are so many costume changes. Almost everyone has eight to 10 costumes changes."
Cory McCall, who designed the sets, also helped set the scene, which will live up to the show's title. Although it hasn't snowed in Bakersfield since 1999, the forecast is chilly and white for Stars every weekend through Dec. 23.
Like with other theaters in town in December, some local businesses buy out whole performances for their holiday parties. So Peaker-Lozano said to buy tickets early to make sure you don't miss out.
"I have a feeling, it's going to be a popular one," she said. "Everyone wants to go to the theater to kick off the holiday season."