TUNE IN TO THE RADIO SHOW OF “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”
By Bonnie Goldberg
Music Theatre of Connecticut is once again hosting the heartwarming and redemptive tale of one George Bailey of Bedford Falls, New York, a reluctant hero who realizes almost too late that his life has meaning. Joe Landry is the playwright responsible for wrapping George’s story in the form of a live radio show at WBFR and you’re invited to pull up a comfy chair and tune in to the momentous happenings that mark George’s time on this earth, until Sunday, December 18. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with a retelling of this classic Frank Capra film. The original tale was written by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling.
A talented troupe of actors brings George’s story to life, complete with sound effects and commercials breaks. They each play a multitude of roles with energy and zest -- Allan Zeller, Jon-Michael Miller, Elizabeth Donnelley, Elissa DeMaria and Jim Schilling. We meet all the inhabitants of Bedford Falls as well as in heaven where Clarence, the wannabe angel, gets the assignment to help George see the value of his life and not commit suicide. In doing so, Clarence hopes, after waiting for hundreds of years, to finally earn his wings.
George is a straight arrow lad, one who wants to venture into the world and explore all its possibilities. Unfortunately, the early death of his father forces him to take over his dad’s Building and Loan Association and circumstances continue to delay his departure until all his chances evaporate. Don’t feel sorry for George, however, as he helps many citizens of the town achieve their dreams, he marries his sweetheart Mary, he succeeds in saving lives like his brother Harry's and he keeps the big bad wolf of the town Mr. Potter from achieving his evil plans.
When George’s Uncle Billy loses a large deposit of $8000 just as the bank inspector is about to arrive for an audit, George’s faith is tested. How Clarence helps him to see how important he is to the town and its people is at the redemptive heart of this moving tale. Kevin Connors directs this beloved holiday happening that will restore your faith in the human race. For tickets ($30-55), call MTC, 509 Westport Avenue, Norwalk, behind Nine West Shoes at 203-454-3883 or online at www.musictheatreofct.com. Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. A special added bonus to the day will be the auction of a memorable scene of Bedford Falls painted by renowned local artist Paul Landry at each performance.
What would Christmas be without a retelling of this magical story of hope. Watch how George gets a revelation not unlike Scrooge’s as this story of faith reveals once again that a man who has friends is not a failure in life.