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It's A Wonderful Life Show
Drawing on a Hollywood classic for inspiration, The Wichita Theatre’s new presentation of “It’s A Wonderful Life” is sure to please local theatergoers.A musical, the show features plenty of singing and dancing in addition to the timeless tale of George Bailey and the angel he helps earn wings.
With a cast of 35, ranging in age from 8 to 60, the play is set in the small town of Bedford Falls, where the Bailey Brothers Building and Loan Company is in direct competition with local curmudgeon and all-around bad guy Mr. Potter (played by Russell Madsen). As expected, Potter isn’t about to let a Bailey stand in the way of his plans to completely control the economy of the small town. Although it takes nearly 20 years, the evil old miser eventually brings George Bailey (played by Eric West) to his knees and has him attempting suicide on a snowy Christmas Eve. Clarence, George’s guardian angel, shows up and gives George the gift of seeing how bad life would have been in Bedford Falls if George had never been born.
Billy Brasfield delivers a standout performance as Clarence with his smooth, jazzy vocals and infectious stage presence. Brasfield also plays a key secondary character, but saying just who would be giving too much away.
Shara Spicer, in her first acting role, was delightful as Mary Bailey, George’s supportive, upbeat wife. West’s portrayal of George captures all the passion of the Jimmy Stewart original and brought a strong vocal performance to the part.
Nearly stealing the show with their charming antics were Margit Bale and Joseph Reed as Cousin Tilly and Uncle Billy. These two proved they could really shake a leg at the high school dance, and their comedic timing was right on the mark and consistent throughout the play. Utah Robertson is memorable as the loudly annoying but good-hearted Sam Wainwright.
Director Allison Fernburg does an admirable job keeping the large cast on task for this production. Opening night saw a few miscues, but those opening night jitters will disappear quickly now that the play is actually in its run. There were also some noticeable technical glitches in the sound and lighting areas, but these should smooth out as the holiday run continues.
All in all, “It’s A Wonderful Life” is a delightfully charming way to ring in the holiday season for the whole family. And who knows, an angel or two just might get their wings in the process!
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Pretty exciting! No mention of the sets but that's fine, the directors, cast, and crew have shared an overwhelming amount of thanks, and I just keep telling them "I'm just glad you guys gave the the chance, and that it wouldn't be there with out the help of Sheldon & Patricia" ( I will say, I had a patron come up and tell me that the sets were 'better than the recent production of Cats'' another saying 'It's like stepping back and time and being right there with the characters!' and to me that's a HUGE compliment!)
fantastic, wonderful show and although at times its nerve wracking iv secretly loved every minuet of it! Be sure to check out this post to see all the cool things we did with sets and props for this musical version of "It's A Wonderful Life"!