Heaven Can Wait – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Every Christmas it is more than a tradition, almost a requirement, to watch the wannabe angel Clarence struggle to earn his wings, after trying for two hundred years, in the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” He ends up in Bedford Falls, New York and has the supreme task of convincing the suicidal George Bailey that his life is worth living. Thankfully George realizes his worth and a bell rings proving Clarence now has earned his wings. Prepare yourself for another angel to appear, this time courtesy of Saybrook Stage Company at the Katharine Hepburn Center for the Performing Arts from Thursday, July 14 to Sunday, July17 when “Heaven Can Wait” flies into town.

Originally written at the start of World War II, to give people hope and a promising future, “Heaven Can Wait” by Harry Segall is a comedy just in time to provide some much needed humor. An overeager and poorly trained angel answering to the name of Mr. Jordan mistakenly claims an up and coming prizefighter Joe Pendleton to be his newest angel recruit. The only problem is Mr. Jordan is sixty years too early.

When the mistake is recognized, and Joe demands to be returned to earth, it is discovered that Joe’s manager, Max Levene, has unfortunately had Joe cremated. Now a new body for Joe to inhabit is needed and pronto. The hunt is on and the first viable suspect is a man, a quite wealthy gentleman, whose wife is planning his execution. How will that work out? Remember that this is a comedy so don’t send any bouquets of flowers to the funeral home just yet.This light hearted play is directed by Terri Corigliano.

For tickets ($15-23), call the Kate box office at 860-510-0453 or go online to www.thekate.org. Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Masks are encouraged to be worn on site.

Come help Joe earn his way back to earth and abandon the wings he is sixty years too early to claim. As we look to establish our lives again after the pandemic, what better way than through laughter…where love with triumph.

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