Saturday 1 December 2018

"It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play", Lower Ossington Theatre, Toronto, ON

This evening Gord and I saw It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.

Faced with a life of dreams deferred, George Bailey sets out to throw himself from a bridge — until a dotty angel-in-waiting shows him what might have been. Don't miss this beloved holiday classic, brought to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast!

Revisit Bedford Falls, fall in love again with George and Mary, and discover the magic of an angel named Clarence! It’s Christmas Eve in 1947, and inside a radio studio, a live broadcast brings to life Frank Capra’s timeless film in all of its feel-good glory!

Be a part of the live studio audience and join the cast and crew as they take you on a journey through the most important evening in one man’s life. It’s the perfect holiday outing for the entire family and, who knows, an angel might even get his wings!

It is playing this month at the Lower Ossington Theatre, which is in our 'hood.  We've seen it there the last two years and enjoyed it ... it's become a tradition for us.

The play takes place on Christmas Eve 1946 in New York before televisions were in every household and people listened to radio for entertainment.  The premise of the play is that five actors are performing It's a Wonderful Life and it's being broadcast live over the radio ... and the audience watching the play is the audience for the live broadcast (we were prompted to clap when the "Applause" sign lit up).

The actors were good and we enjoyed this production.  They started playing their roles as actors right away.  "Freddie" wandered around the audience before the "play" started chatting with people.  They all played various parts and were continuously switching back and forth between characters and voices.  Vince Deiulis, who played Jake Laurents who plays "George" played the same character two years ago at this theatre.

It was interesting to watch them as actors playing actors of a radio show.  There were even two "commercials" during the broadcast.  The sound effects were imaginative ... mashing Corn Flakes for the sound of walking in snow, etc.  Even though the play was supposedly being broadcast on the read, the actors still physically acted it out to some extent.  At times, I closed my eyes so I could experience it as a radio show.

I'm looking forward to seeing it next year!

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