Dec. 9 - Dec. 27, 2009
a new musical based on the Frank Capra film

The beloved movie classic that starred James Stewart is
lovingly brought to life as a Broadway-style musical!
On Christmas eve, troubled George Bailey, wonders what
the world would have been like if he had never been born.  
And Clarence, the hapless would-be Guardian Angel
shows him just that!  
"Funny, moving and memorable!  
GARETH CREW
SHEILA LACASSE
GARY PIACENTINI
JOE CASCONE
Production Stage Manager
Lighting
Costumes
Music Director
Choreography
LLOYD DEAN
ERIC BOTOSAN
JULIE LENNICK
SCOTTY NEWLANDS
ASHLEY MEDEIROS-FELIX
DAMIEN GULDE
CLINTON SOMERTON
ELIZABETH ROSE MORRISS
GARY PRUDENCE
ANDREW BYRNE
MAX LEE
KOBY LEE
OLIVIA STUPKA
TIFFANY STUPKA
Clarence
Mary Hatch-Bailey
Mr. Potter
Uncle Billy
Mother Bailey
Harry Bailey
Violet
Bert
Ernie
Ruth
Mr. Gower
Potter's Thug
Tommy
Peter
Janie
Zuzu
Adapted from Frank Capra’s classic film, this musical version was created in the 1980s by Joe Raposo and Sheldon Harnick. Due in part
to Raposo’s untimely death, the show has never been given a full Broadway production but an all-star cast gave a one-night only concert
version in New York in 2005.

The authors have given the show a lilting title song that will linger in the memory. The score also includes a charmingly old-fashioned
second-act showstopper for Clarence, the Angel seeking his Wings.

The song, in fact is called “Wings” and
David Haines as Clarence leads a fantasy production number backed by a chorus line of angels
executing
Larry Westlake’s slightly campy choreography.  

It provides a touch of levity before the story plunges into the darkly surreal sequence where Clarence shows the despondent George
Bailey what life in Bedford Falls would have been like had he not been born.

This famous sequence is of course where the show’s considerable heart may be found, and
Bryan Chamberlain as George Bailey rides
the emotional roller coaster to maximum effect.  His performance really centers the show, which works out well since George is on
stage nearly the entire time. His scenes with
David Haines effectively point up the incredulity and the wonder George is experiencing.

Chamberlain has a terrific leading lady in Andrea Barker who brings a straightforward charm to the role of Mary, and sings like an angel.

As Henry Potter, the meanest man in town,
Lloyd Dean channels some of the residual misanthropy of last season’s Scrooge to create a
cold-hearted curmudgeon; a connivingly realistic antecedent to
Haines’ eternally earnest Clarence.

There is also some great ensemble work, notably the finale of the first act where George’s brother Harry is given a hero’s parade by the
townsfolk, while in stark contrast George realizes he might well lose the family business.

In the role of George’s heroic brother,
Scotty Newlands gets a chance to show off his powerful voice, joined by an equally strong
Elizabeth Rose Morris as his wife, Ruth.

Joe Cascone earns applause for ensuring that the sentimentality of the piece never becomes overly saccharine. He has also done his usual
wizardry in keeping the action moving without pauses for scenery shifting, aided by
Gareth Crew’s mix of light and shadow that helps
maintain the story’s ethereal qualities.

Best of all,
It’s a Wonderful Life serves as a reminder to value life and embraces both its joys and its challenges. Only the most cynical
and jaded will not feel a lump in the throat at the final curtain.