Actor embraces ‘White Christmas’ role


Even though Matt Branic is appearing in his first “White Christmas,” he is certainly well-versed in it.

“But it’s not my first white Christmas. I am, after all, a Midwesterner,” Branic said. “It is definitely my favorite among the holiday musicals. It’s hard not to love Irving Berlin’s music — classic, timeless, and perfect for the season.

Branic, an Indianapolis resident and a 1997 Carmel High School graduate, plays Corporal Ronald Sheldrake Nov. 24 to Dec. 31 in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of “White Christmas.”

“There’s plenty to like about Corporal Ronald Sheldrake,” Branic said. “Sure, he’s a brash, somewhat cocky TV producer who goes a mile-a-minute. But underneath that, he’s a loyal friend who’ll do just about anything to help his Army buddies in the 151st Division. And he’s a veteran, which is worthy of recognition this time of year. In my view, Sheldrake probably was a ‘glue guy’ in his division during the war — well-liked, funny and welcoming to everyone.”

Branic said the biggest challenge is depicting Ralph’s pacing.

“He’s a busy network executive, constantly multitasking and checking items off his to-do list,” Branic said. “I tend to operate much more slowly, and I cannot multitask to save my life. My brain can handle one thing and one thing only.”


With a wife and three daughters and a busy work schedule, Branic only has time for one full show per year.

“I try to perform in a number of shorter-run projects as well, just to stay in it as much as I can,” Branic said.

A lawyer, Branic has several other interests, such as triathlons, swimming, golf and tennis.

“It helps that I get bored with any one thing pretty quickly, so I find I naturally switch gears and fill my day with a fair amount of variety,” he said. “Exercise is my No. 1 way of de-stressing and clearing my head, so I always try to do something active every day, no matter what. I find that if I’ve been active even for a short time, I’m a far better husband, father and worker that day.”

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