NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> The Newtown Presby Players will take to the 'airwaves' when it presents its holiday show, "It's a Wonderful Life, a Live Radio Play,” written by Joe Landry.
The play is based on the classic holiday movie with a clever twist thrown in: the story is staged as a live 1940s radio broadcast.
With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, complete with live sound effects, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he contemplates his mortality one fateful Christmas Eve.
The play takes place in the studios of WNPC (Newtown Presbyterian Church), a CBS affiliate in Newtown in 1946, and unfolds over the airwaves prior to the release of the movie starring Jimmy Stewart so no one at the time has any idea of what George Bailey, Clarence, Mary or all of the other characters look like.
The actors voice the characters and take the audience through the story of George Bailey, a generous and well-meaning man who has become too downcast and tired to continue living. It will take help from a lovable angel named Clarence for George to have a change of heart and understand the true spirit of the holidays.
“Picture yourself living in 1946 sitting in the living room by the radio or attending a live broadcast as a member of the studio audience, listening to the broadcasts from WNPC,” said the show’s director Mike McCollum. “Take a step back, maybe close your eyes for a few seconds and experience what it was like back then. But don't close your eyes for too long or may miss something happening on our stage.”
The show is on stage for three performances only on Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the Newtown Presbyterian Church, 25 North Chancellor Street, Newtown.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Tickets include a reserved seat and dessert.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling Sandy at 215-493-2861. For more information, like the Presby Players on Facebook at Newtown Presbyterian Church.
The show stars Doug Eberhart of Yardley as Freddie Filmore and Announcer; Lisa Woolcott of Holland as Violet, Young Violet, Sadie, Martini, Charlie, Pete and Woman; Kevin Ball of Newtown as Clarence; Jen Pfender of Feasterville as Ernie, Young Harry, Zuzu, Gower, Mr. Welch, Young Mary, Schultz and Horace; Cheryl Myers of Yardley as Bert, Young George, Matilda, Ruth, Janie, Sherriff, Binky, Man, Tommy and Ed; and Amelia Arrigo Ball of Newtown as Joseph, Rose and Dr. Campbell.
The show also stars Nyla Houser of Yardley as Lily and the Sound Effects Technician; Clare Fannon of Newtown as Stage Manager, Nick, Mrs. Hatch, Collins, Marty and the Bridge Keeper; Joanie Keehn of Newtown as Mary Hatch Bailey; Shawn Applegate of Warminster as George Bailey; Andy Warren of Langhorne as Peter, The Janitor and The Bank Robber; Matt Wood of Newtown as Uncle Billy, Adult Harry and a Bedford Falls Cop; and Mike McCollum of Feasterville as Potter and a policeman.