The holiday season is upon us, and the Anson County Arts Council is bringing a perfect Christmas experience to the Ansonia Theatre. “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre” comes to the stage on Dec. 15, at 3 p.m. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1, and the single performance should sell out quickly.
It’s Christmas Eve in 1945, and only a handful of WVL Radio’s actors have braved the blizzard to perform that evening’s broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and keep the station afloat. This clever stage adaptation breathes new life into the poignant story of George Bailey and Bedford Falls. This “live broadcast” of Frank Capra’s beloved film takes us back to the Golden Age of Radio. Due to a blizzard, the professional voice actors are unable to get through, but the show must go on — so a small but intrepid band of employees manages to create the dozens of movie characters and scenes using just their voices and a sound effects table.
When Frank Capra and his co-writers were working on the original screenplay of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the Great Depression was a vivid memory. The story of George Bailey and Bedford Falls is juxtaposed against a time of failing banks, devastatingly high unemployment and a shortage of affordable housing. The circumstances are eerily familiar, and over 60 years later, this story remains as fresh and relevant as ever. Its message of hope and optimism is the perfect antidote to holiday cynicism.
Relive the story of this holiday treasure, ranked #11 in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American films ever made — and also their #1 most inspirational American film of all time.
“Sometimes the most wonderful gifts come wrapped in small packages. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre’… is one of those… a perfect production. For those who remember the flashing applause signs and smaltzy organ music from radio station studios of old, it’s a refreshing step back in time. Younger audiences are enchanted with the glimpse of entertainment the way it was before telephones came equipped with television.” — The Mountaineer, Haywood County
“You’re guaranteed to walk out with a smile; the feel-good Christmas spirit rings true in this production where a community comes together to help out a friend in need.” — The Elm
Beginning Dec. 1, tickets will be available online at www.ansoniatheatre.com and at the Anson County Arts Council (704-694-4950).