IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: THE RADIO PLAY Enters Final Weekend
Theatre Unleashed is thrilled to bring back one of its most popular holiday traditions, It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play to The Belfry in North Hollywood on select dates from December 8-16.
It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play takes place at KAWL, a struggling 1940s radio station that good-hearted owner Michael Anderson is barely keeping alive. He calls on some old friends (with big personalities) and some less-than-professional station employees to offer up a live radio version of Frank Capra's touching masterpiece It's a Wonderful Lifein what might sadly be the station's last live show. But it's the holidays, a time when miracles can happen...
"Theatre Unleashed has been lucky enough to be the creative home to several great playwrights, and one of the best scripts developed by a TU member is It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play by one of the company's founders, Jim Martyka," said Co-Artistic Director Jenn Scuderi Crafts. "We've been performing this beloved piece for several years, and it never fails to be a huge hit with audiences. Now, more than ever, people are longing for a heartwarming, thoughtful piece that highlights the goodness within each one of us, and this timeless story fits the bill."
This year, the production will be helmed by stage and improv veteran Carey Matthews, who is also a longtime member of the company.
"I am extremely excited to be directing It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play," he said. "I had the honor of being in it the past two years, and fell in love with the show. It is a clever, funny, heartwarming show that reflects the message of the movie: life is a gift, and you never know the impact you have on people. It's a classic story in that 70 years later, it still resonates deeply with people. I hope to do it the justice it deserves, as being in it has made my last two Christmas seasons much more uplifting. In short: this show is magical."
Beyond the Belfry run, where the company will also be collecting donated toys during the run, TU will also bring It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play to the 300-plus seat Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton. The outdoor venue not only marks the biggest audience the show has performed in front of, it's also the first time the company has taken it on the road.
"We're looking forward to sharing this show with the OC," Crafts said. "This falls in line with the bigger and bolder steps we're taking at Theatre Unleashed. We're focused on taking our company to new heights, building on all the good work we've already done and seeing what else we can do as one of the community's top independent theatre companies."