Peter Gallagher, Annette Bening, et al. Set for IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE Reading Today at Geffen Playhouse

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Golden Globe Award winner Peter Gallagher (The O.C., American Beauty) takes on the role of George Bailey, joining the star-studded cast of the Geffen Playhouse's special oneday-only reading of It's A Wonderful Life. The cast also features four-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right, Being Julia, American Beauty), three-time Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Broadway star and favorite TV mom Shirley Jones (The Partridge Family) along with her real life husband Marty Ingels, Emmy Award Winner Leslie Jordan Leslie Jordan (Will and Grace, The Help), television actress Lorraine Toussaint (Friday Night Lights, Saving Grace), and acclaimed stage and screen actors Gregory Itzin (Adaptation, 24), Glenne Headly (who will be seen later this season on the Geffen stage in The Jacksonian) and Drop Dead Diva's Josh Stamberg (who was also seen alongside Annette Bening in The Female of the Species at the Geffen).

Helmed by L.A. director Bart DeLorenzo, this special evening sponsored by One West Bank is a joint fundraiser for the Geffen Playhouse and The Actors Fund, a national human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. It's a Wonderful Life will be performed in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse today, December 10, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This adaption of It's a Wonderful Life captures the heartwarming holiday spirit of the classic film with the nostalgia of a live radio play. Gallagher and Bening, who play George and Mary, respectively, are joined on stage by a cast of familiar characters as well as a sound effects artist who will be using a time-honored bag of tricks to create the world of the play.

The merriment will extend well beyond the stage for this special event – guests are invited to arrive early and enjoy the decorated Geffen Playhouse lobby, which will be transformed to reflect a slice of winter life in picturesque Bedford Falls (the setting of the classic film) complete with tasty holiday-themed treats. Pre-show entertainment will be provided by the a capella trio The Chantilly Sisters who will be caroling around the lobby singing holiday favorites and timeless tunes dressed to the nines in classic 1940s style. To further extend the holiday spirit, the Geffen Playhouse will also be partnering with Keyes for Kids Toy Drive to help bring gifts into the lives of children in need, primarily through the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. The Geffen Playhouse is encouraging all patrons who are attending the event to bring a new unwrapped toy.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Adapted for radio on-stage by Tony Palermo
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo
Performances: Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Featuring: Annette Bening, Bryan Cranston, Peter Gallagher, Glenne Headly, Marty Ingels, Gregory Itzin,  Shirley Jones, Leslie Jordan, Josh Stamberg and Lorraine Toussaint

Ticket prices currently range from $69 - $93 and go to benefit the Geffen Playhouse and The Actors Fund. Tickets can be purchased online at www.geffenplayhouse.com, in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office or by calling 310-208-5454.

The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an
extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.com.

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone-
performers and those behind the scenes-who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 12,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency assistance, health care and insurance, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has-for nearly 130 years-been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit www.actorsfund.org.



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