BWW Review: Experience a Christmas Classic in a Whole New Way with Artists Rep's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY

BWW Review: Experience a Christmas Classic in a Whole New Way with Artists Rep's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY

In my experience, there are two types of Christmas movie-watchers: those whose favorite Christmas movie is It's a Wonderful Life and those whose favorite is Die Hard. As an experiment, I took one of each to see Artists Rep's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY. Much to my surprise, they both loved it, proving that no matter how different we are, it's possible find common ground somewhere.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY is one of two 1940s-style radio plays in Portland this holiday season. It's a trend I'm totally digging -- a fun way to make something old new again and also to introduce younger generations to the cutting edge technologies of nearly a century ago.

If you fall into the "It's a Wonderful Life is the best Christmas movie" camp, you will love this take on it. It's a faithful rendition of the film, just in radio style, with excellent performances all around. Chris Harder and Susannah Mars are exactly what you want for George and Mary, and David Bodin, who voiced a variety of roles including Mr. Potter and Uncle Billy, was particularly excellent.

Now for the "Die Hard is the best Christmas movie" camp. Do you tend to avoid It's a Wonderful Life because it's just too darn long? The radio play clocks in at a brisk 90 minutes -- action movie pacing! Concerned about outdated racial, sexual, or political attitudes? Those parts are omitted from this version. You just get the good stuff. Plus, it's super fun to watch a Foley artist (Leslie North) at work.

Overall, I (and my entire party) enjoyed IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY. I recommend it for the whole family. More details and tickets here.

Be sure to get there early for some pre-show entertainment -- Christmas carols sung by Susannah Mars, Alyssa Longoria, Victoria Schindler, Jimmy Garcia, Leslie North.

Photo credit: David Kinder

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From This Author Krista Garver

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