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It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play
a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Joe Landry

COMPANY : Live Arts Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Belfry Playhouse (inside Norcross Presbyterian Church) [WEBSITE]
ID# 4819

SHOWING : December 04, 2015 - December 19, 2015

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve.

This show is recommended for ages 5+. All content is appropriate for the entire family.

Running time is approx: 2 hrs with one 15 minute intermission


CAST & CREW LIST
Sound/Foley Design Scott Piehler
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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It’s a Wonderful Show
by playgoer
Monday, December 14, 2015
4.0
Joe Landry’s "It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play" is being given a crackerjack production by Live Arts Theatre, under the direction of Becca Parker. While a cast of five can present the show, doing all the voices, here we have a cast four times that large, including a contingent of children playing the younger roles. It’s a bit of a challenge fitting them all in the tiny playing space in the Belfry Playhouse at Norcross Presbyterian Church, but Spencer Estes has designed a red-and-green set of Art Deco microphone stands and Foley tables that take up next to no space, and Ms. Parker has blocked the action so there’s a constant flow of actors going to and from the microphones. It’s snug, but gives a nice feel of a compact radio studio.

The story is well-known from the beloved movie, and the large cast helps differentiate the various characters. A couple of cast members were absent at the performance I saw, and the others taking on their parts weren’t necessarily successful providing distinct voices. But Rick Chandler Bragg does a wonderful job giving us both Clarence the angel and Uncle Billy, and Paul Kamm sells all his various New York and Italian accents. No one in the cast is deficient in conveying their characters, and some are quite delightful (Meredith and JJ Jones among them). James H. Burke’s Southern accent doesn’t seem quite right for George Bailey, but his pacing keeps the show moving right along. Katie Bates, as Mary, matches his pace and energy.

Costumes, designed by Dawn Burke, and hair/makeup, by Stephanie Steele, give a true flavor of the 1940’s, and the pre-show interaction of some cast members sets the scene in New York City. It all creates a welcoming atmosphere of holiday fun. Scene transition music by Michael Parker and Foley/sound design by Scott Piehler add to the spirit. All in all, it’s a wonderful show. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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