The family and I went to see “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at Gaslight Theater today.
I’m one of those rare people that hasn’t seen the film, so my exposure to this story is solely through this production. Being a live radio play, the actors were playing actors performing the story live over the radio.
I enjoyed the voices the actors used to differentiate the characters. Randy Diamon as Clarence and Mr. Martini was particularly memorable. Josh Fisher gave a solid and moving performance as George Bailey. Fiona Turnbull (Violet) and Debbie Minter (Mary) were wonderful as well. Barry Allord’s delivery (Mr. Potter) was oddly slow the first time I saw it, but he gave a better performance today.
Sound effects were provided live as well. Both performances I saw featured Val Durfee as the foley artist, who performed her job with style and aplomb. (Davita Terrell is also performing the role for some of the shows.)
The actors also have interesting interaction when they are not delivering lines, which gives the whole production a charming verisimilitude – no doubt a credit to Jane Allard, the director. The on-air commercials for Bremel Shaving Cream and Dux Toilet Cake, the “sponsors” of the show, are not to be missed!
From friends who have seen both the movie and the play, “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is a wonderful way to enjoy an old classic and support live theater. As an added bonus, there is an art cooperative who’s running a holiday gift shop in the adjoining space, in case you are looking for a unique gift.