Central Park Players casts live-radio production of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Central Park Players  has cast its production of playwright Joe Landry’s “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” which will run Dec. 13-16 at the Grand Haven Community Center.

The show is an adaptation of the famous, 1946 movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart and Donna Reed.

The familiar story centers on George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others. He despairs and attempts suicide on Christmas Eve, but is thwarted by a guardian angel, Clarence. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched, and how different life in his community would be if he had never been born.

Appearing in the holiday show will be Ray Deboer, Brian Cleveland, Shelby DeBoer, Lisa Smith, Barry Huntington, Ted Jawor, Mark Lewis, Joy Lamphere, Emily Kindervater, Ron Mass, Luke Lewis, Kate Kirchner, Emily Kukla, Anna Wolffis, Kate Wolffis, Karen Frederiksen, Shawn Epps and Ruth Simon. The show is directed by Darcie Dawson.

Live radio drama was theatre of the mind and imagination: Voices, music and sound effects combined to create mental images that drew listeners around their consoles to “watch” the radio. In its heyday from the 1920s through the 1940s, the Golden Age of Radio featured such programs as the suspense series “The Shadow,” “Lights Out” and “Inner Sanctum,” and comedies like “Fibber McGee & Molly” and “Amos ’n’ Andy.”
One of the landmark, live-radio productions was director/actor Orson Welles’ famous Oct. 30, 1938 Mercury Theatre on the Air adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds.” That show 80 years ago on Halloween Eve duped a lot of listeners that Earth was being invaded by the planet Mars.

Landry’s adaptation is presented just as live radio dramas and comedies were done in the so-called Golden Age of Radio: The actors stand at microphones, scripts in hand, and their performances are complemented by live sound effects. Many of the performers play multiple characters.

For tickets and more information, call 616-843-3906 or visit the Players’ website: www.centralparkplayers.org


Categories: Theatre

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