Orange County Theatre Reviews

Fullerton CA—There aren’t many things that signal the beginning of the holiday season quite like watching It’s a Wonderful Life.  STAGEStheatre is proud to kick off the holiday season with the adaptation of this heartwarming classic. In Joe Landry’s adaptation, Its a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play it’s December 24, 1946 in Studio A at WSTG Radio and a cast of actors are preparing to present Its a Wonderful Life live to their listening audience. With the help of a pianist and a sound effects artist, the ensemble recreates the story of George Bailey, a young man whose dreams of traveling the world are thwarted by his sense of responsibility to the family business. Down on his luck, George Bailey, a compassionate yet disheartened businessman, is at the end of his rope, questioning his purpose in life. Just when he comes to believe that life is not worth the effort, some divine intervention allows him to see the way that his life has affected all those he loves, and he learns what his life is really worth. 

This 2015 production marks STAGEStheatres seventh time producing this timeless classic. Director Amanda DeMaio is delighted to once again take the helm and bring this heartwarming story to life.The enthusiastic response is always quite surprising, I mean everyone has seen the movie and knows the story well. Even just reading the script in rehearsals was an emotional experience, but to look out during a performance and see grown men and women with huge smiles and tears streaming down their faces is almost overwhelming.  That was when we realized we had something exceptional that we could use to start a tradition of holiday performances.  We’ve heard over and over again what a great start the show is to kick off the holiday season.”

The American Film Institute (AFI) selected Its a Wonderful Life as its “Most Inspiring Movie of All Time” in a 2006 “100 Years—100 Cheers”retrospective, and Landry’s radio play adaptation has received equally-admiring reviews in many cities across the country.  The classic tale of family, friendship and the power of community in the face of financial hard times is a must-see this holiday season.

Starring in Its a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play are: Anthony Barratta, Dianna Beckman, Steven Biggs, Richard W. Burnes, Paul Burt, Wendi de Barros, Jon Gaw, Christi Pedigo, Sean Hesketh, Jason Hogan, Wendy Karn, Julie Kirkman, Darri Kristin, Jeffrey Larson, Rick Lawhorn, Colleen McCandless, Vic Miller, Matt Morrison, Adam Poynter, Joe Pridemore, Jason Sutton, Elizabeth Suzanne, and Frank Valdez.

Tickets for Its a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play are $20.00, $18.00 for students and seniors.  Performances are November 27th- December 27th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.  For reservations please visit our website at www.stagesoc.org

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