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By JoEllen Black/Richmond News
Fans of Frank Capra’s 1946 classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” can be transported back to that era with Ray County Community Arts Association’s live radio rendition of the movie.
The Farris audience will have to pretend it’s in Studio A Auditorium in Manhattan, N.Y. in the late 1940s listening to a WBFR radio production, much like what is done at Radio City Music Hall or at the Grand Old Opry. Like those live productions, expect commercial breaks in the play, some that go back-in-the-day, like DUX toilet cakes, and some that mention longtime local businesses.
While audience members won’t see Jimmy Stewart or Donna Reed look-a-likes, they will see radio voice actors in 1940s attire. The jingle of bells – of angels getting their wings – will be one of the many sound effects used in the radio play.
Speaking of angels, Rick Jensen will play Clarence, the gentle spirit who helps lead character George Bailey find the value in his life. Bailey is played by Ryan Kugler. Annie Quick plays Bailey’s adoring wife Mary. Kyle Foster, known as Mr. Scrooge last year, will play banking bad guy Mr. Potter who controls most of Bedford Falls. Justin Richards is the radio announcer and also performs the character Giuseppe Martini, a man who benefited from Bailey’s building and loan. Like most in the play, Richards plays multiple parts.
Mac Rogers directs the play with Sandy Cazzell as musical director. Mark Cazzell is the stage director.
The radio play will be performed over two weekends – 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and 7-8, and 2 p.m. Dec. 2 and 9. Tickets are $10 and $8 for senior citizens.