Entertainment

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Live Radio Show starts this weekend

 It’s almost time to start the show! Stage Manager Trudy Heywood (played by Jennifer Inglis) checks her watch as Edward Hungerford Pollen (L, played by Peter Schalk) and William Alexander (played by Sean Swinwood) look on.   - Photo Iain Macleod
It’s almost time to start the show! Stage Manager Trudy Heywood (played by Jennifer Inglis) checks her watch as Edward Hungerford Pollen (L, played by Peter Schalk) and William Alexander (played by Sean Swinwood) look on.
— image credit: Photo Iain Macleod

 

It’s a Wonderful Life, the Live Radio Show transports the audience to Studio B in Manhattan where they take part in a live reading of the beloved Christmas tale It’s a Wonderful Life.  Audience members are in for a treat as each actor reads the lines of several characters from the film.  On-stage sound effects and commercial jingles are re-created by the cast, setting the scene of this popular radio station in the 1940s and engaging the audience as though they are part of the performance.

When director Terry Miller was asked why he would want to revive It’s a Wonderful Life, the Live Radio Show merely two years after he originally presented it, he replied by listing off a long list of contributing factors.

“First,” he said, “was the observation that Christmas is interlaced with a wide variety of traditions. There are many styles of tradition involving the arts, including entertainment like movies, plays, choirs and even ballet.”

“Then,” he continued, “Wonderful Life is such a good story, it is sometimes so important to be reminded that our place in the world is not without consequence. This story deserves to be told over and over again.  And, it’s an odd bit of theatre. Theatre is the most fun when we work slightly outside of the normal boundaries. There are so, so many ways to tell a story.”

He carried on with the final piece of his explanation. “This is also a very important piece for the actors.  Two of them play the very interesting, emotion-filled roles of George and Mary Bailey who are the lead characters of the story. These roles are what anchors the rest of the story. The other three actors play about 25 characters amongst them, an extremely challenging undertaking. I told these multi-character actors that this is both the easiest and most difficult acting role they will ever take on.  And I have to say that these five actors are at the top of their games, especially because they also do all of the sound effects for this 1946 radio broadcast.”

He concluded by suggesting that this experience has a little more weight because it is so different from the very recent production of Steel Magnolias. “Theatre audiences will get the true enjoyment of another great show immediately following a similarly high quality production.”

Running for just 6 nights on December 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th at the Studio/Stage Door in Cranbrook, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to see some of this area’s finest talent, including Sean Swinwood, Peter Schalk, Sioban Staplin, David Popoff, and Jennifer Inglis.

Tickets for It’s a Wonderful Life, the Live Radio Show are $13 for CCT members or $15 for non-members and are available at Lotus Books and at the door.

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