Classic Christmas film with a twist

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, December 4, 2013


MONTEVALLO – “It’s a Wonderful Life” may be a classic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be given a new spin.

The Montevallo Main Street Players will do just with “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” Dec. 13-15, which the group will perform at Parnell Memorial Library Theater.

Main Street Players member Steve Gilbert said the play will be like listening to a 1946 radio broadcast of Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The set is like an old radio studio, with cast members dressed in 1940s-era clothing gathered around vintage microphones, literally performing the show “as if it were being heard on the radio,” Gilbert said.

“(The audience is) actually watching it as it’s being done,” he said. “They’re watching the sound effects guy creating sounds of a bell ringing or a breaking piece of glass as (the actors) are going through the scripts. The audience gets the visual experience as well as the audio experience.”

Like the film, the play is set on Christmas Eve in 1946 and follows the story of George Bailey. Unlike the film, the play will also include Christmas music as well as readings of “The Night Before Christmas” and ““Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus.”

“I think it’s a class story done a little different,” Gilbert said. “I can’t imagine somebody who hasn’t seen ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ the movie, and I think this is a different way to experience a very familiar story.”

“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is written by Joe Landry and will be directed by Paul Barnes. Show times will be 7:30 p.n. Dec. 13-14 and 2 p.m. Dec. 15.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students. To reserve tickets, call 665-9207 ext. 6. Tickets are also available at the door.

Cast members include Evan Brock, Joey Bruno, Jim Chomicz, Johnny Curry, Diana Douglas, Kittye Keener, Marietta Lunceford, Ingrid McGraw, Peyton Talley, Lodealia Taylor, Danielle Warren, Jenny Wheeler, Mary Francis Wheeler and others.

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