A lot of people who love the holidays can recite lines from Frank Capra’s popular 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. The heartwarming tale resonates with American goodness, underscoring how living an honest life, doing the right thing and treating other people decently is its own reward.
The film is a classic thanks to actors who etched memorable characters — not just Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey and Donna Reed as his devoted wife, but also Henry Travers as Clarence the quirky Angel, Lionel Barrymore as the villain Mr. Potter and Thomas Mitchell as dotty Uncle Billy.
Rather than simply bring this story to the stage, Falcon Theatre has chosen a script by Anthony Palermo that retells the story as a radio drama, which seems fitting since it was the dominant media when the film was released. Falcon’s production in Newport’s tiny Monmouth Theatre (where the work was previously staged in 2008 and 2009) re-creates a radio studio with three sound effects artists, a stentorian announcer, electric organ, three cute singers for ads and a cast of voice talents who play multiple roles.
It's a Wonderful Life continues through Sunday. Go here for Rick Pender's full review, show times and ticket information.