Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Presents IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Presents IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre presents Joe Landry's retelling of the motion picture and holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life (IAWL) December 6-16 at the Warwick Theatre.

This new take on the classic Christmas tale re-envisions the story of George Bailey, Mary, Mr. Potter, Bert & Ernie, and Zuzu as a radio play being performed on Christmas Eve, 1946 to both a live audience and thousands of listeners across the airwaves. An ensemble of actors, ranging from children to veteran performers known across the Kansas City theatre community, recreate the timeless tale of George Bailey, a down-on-his-luck family man who questions the purpose of his existence on Christmas Eve after a series of unfortunate events. As George ponders some of life's biggest queries, a guardian angel name Clarence swoops in to show George the massive impact his life has had and that the true measure of success is friends and family, not money.

Joe Landry's adaptation pulls heavily from the original 1946 film. This new play effortlessly recreates the magic of Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra's black and white masterpiece. Lauded by critics, the original film flopped at the box office but then became a surprise five-time Oscar nominee in 1947. In the 1970's networks rediscovered the film and began to re-air the movie for free after the intellectual property became public domain (the IP holder forgot to reapply for the rights). It was these initial broadcasts that built the film's fandom and grew the classic into the masterpiece that it is heralded as today. IAWL is now considered one of the greatest Christmas stories ever told and the greatest Christmas film of all time. The MET has strived to capture that magic and appreciation and present KC audiences with a beautiful, emotional, and comedic retelling.

Director Karen Paisley and the MET company have transformed the Warwick Theatre into KMET Studio A and populated the stage with legends of the KC theatre scene, as well as fresh face new talent, that portray local Kansas City actors of the 1940's performing the iconic roles of the Capra film. Each actor plays multiple parts and the action onstage is accompanied by sound effects, impromptu moments, and holiday joy. Each performance is followed by a gathering in the lobby where the audience gets a chance to meet and mingle with the talent.

This family classic opens Thursday, December 6 and runs through Sunday, December 16. Evening performances begin nightly at 7:30pm and at 2:00pm for Sunday matinees (please check the website for more detailed information on shows, dates and times). The plays are produced at the MET's newly acquired venue - the historical Warwick Theatre. The Warwick is at 3927 Main St, KCMO 64111 and there's plenty of parking behind the building. Tickets can be ordered online at or over the phone by calling the box office at (816) 569-3226.

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