Adapted from the screenplay, It's A Wonderful Life
Previews to Benefit Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY; Special Black Friday Performance
- Capital Repertory Theatre proudly announces the heartwarming holiday show, THIS WONDERFUL LIFE. Preview performances are slated for Nov. 23, 24, and 25. The show opens officially on Tuesday, Nov. 27 with pre-show music in the Capital Rep lobby featuring the University at Albany Chamber Singers and complimentary post-show champagne toast and dessert for all patrons.
Steve Murray's delightful re-imagining of Frank Capra's beloved classic film, It's A Wonderful Life
, tells the tale of George Bailey, the good-hearted Bedford Falls Everyman
, who gets a little help from his apprentice guardian angel, Clarence, to realize that life really matters.
Virtuosic stage veteran, Larry Daggett, last seen as Colonel Pickering in Capital Rep's popular musical, My Fair Lady,
portrays George, Clarence, Mary, Old Man Potter - and 30 more of Bedford Falls' finest citizens in this one-man stage telling - all within 75 amazing minutes.
This holiday favorite starts previews on Nov. 23 with a special Black Friday Preview $25 ticket for all seats. In the spirit of the play's theme of sharing, patrons who bring a non-perishable food item for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY will receive $10 off any ticket for shows on Nov. 24, 25 - as part of Capital Rep's Wonderful Preview Weekend.
Capital Rep's Producing Artistic Director, Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, who directs THIS WONDERFUL LIFE, says, "The story of George Bailey is in our American DNA. This is the story of a weary good man, who gets a second chance to understand that his life and deeds made a difference. What a gift! And the joy of seeing a really fine actor recreate this story of transformation, while transforming himself into all of the inhabitants of Bedford Falls, reminds me of what theatre can do best - ignite the imagination and emotions. I love being transported through a flash of light - a gesture - music and sound - into the world of this story. It's like sharing an evening with an old friend, who knows how to tell a spellbinding story that leaves us all feeling like better friends!
"And at 75 minutes," she adds, "THIS WONDERFUL LIFE is great for families and youngsters, who want to experience the power of this story in a version shorter than the 3-hour film."
Larry Daggett, who won hearts of Capital Region audiences as the lovable Colonel Pickering in Capital Rep's 2009 production of My Fair Lady,
plays all the characters in Bedford Falls each with a different voice, he also has to sound like Jimmy Stewart, Lionel Barrymore and even Donna Reed, as part of the fun in this adaptation for the stage. Daggett, a Broadway veteran of the original Ragtime
and City Opera's Candide,
brings a wealth of experience from NY and regional theatre productions, including Man of La Mancha, Follies, Damn Yankees and Oliver
to name only a few.
"I never get tired of this story about how an individual can really make the world a better place," says Daggett. "I'm used to having to change my voice for characters, but it was a revelation that I would have to know the height of everyone too. I have to physically become each person, but I also have to talk to each person, while being someone else - that's a challenge!" says Daggett (who at one point in the show plays all six Bailey family members, while playing the piano.) "It was a bit wild figuring that out but, of course, that's part of the fun!"
Steve Murray's adaptation joins a long history that has made George Bailey's story a holiday tradition in American homes. After being rejected for publication as a short story entitled "The Greatest Gift," author Phillip Van Doren Stern adapted his words into a Christmas card sent to 200 friends.
A big hit in his social circle, the story eventually ended up in the hands of studio executives at RKO motion picture studios, where some of Hollywood's most significant screenwriters were charged with adapting the story for film, including Dalton Trumbo, Clifford Odets and Marc Connelly. After these unsuccessful attempts, Frank Capra bought the rights and worked with his own team of writers, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett and Jo Swerling to turn "The Greatest Gift" into the perennial favorite, "It's A Wonderful Life." A clerical mistake removed copyright restrictions on the film and screenplay and made the film frequent television holiday fare and inspired several other media versions, including a musical, radio play and the Murray adaptation being produced at Capital Rep.
Director Mancinelli-Cahill is joined by a seasoned team of designers to create the atmosphere of Bedford Falls, including Jo Winiarski, set designer (God of Carnage, Shipwrecked),
Deborah Constantine, lighting designer (To Kill A Mockingbird, Proof),
Steve Stevens, sound designer (To Kill A Mockingbird)
and new to Capital Rep,
Daniel Heffernan and costume designer Carolyn Walker.
THIS WONDERFUL LIFE starts previews on Friday, Nov. 23, at 8 PM with specially priced Black Friday $25 tickets for all seats. In keeping with the theme of sharing that infuses the show with holiday spirit, patrons who bring a canned good to donate to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY will receive $10 off a regular priced ticket for shows on Nov. 24 and 25. (Offer excludes Smart Seats).
The show opens officially on Tuesday, Nov. 27 with pre-show music in the Capital Rep lobby featuring the University at Albany Chamber Singers - with pianist Joshua Tanis - and complimentary post-show champagne toast and dessert for all patrons.
Save the Dates and Purchase Tickets Now
Regular performances continue through Dec. 22, at Capital Rep, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany. Tues-Thurs, 7:30PM, Fri-Sat 8PM, Sat 3PM, Sun 2PM, Wed matinee: Dec. 5, 2PM.
Prices range from $30 - $60, $20 Smart Seats available at all shows. Students with valid ID, $16 all shows. For tickets and information, call TICKETS BY PROCTORS, (518) 445-SHOW or online at http://www.capitalrep.org/
THIS WONDERFUL LIFE at Capital Rep is sponsored by E. Stewart Jones Law Firm. Sub-sponsors for THIS WONDERFUL LIFE are Artist Pianos and Keeler Motor Car Company.
THIS WONDERFUL LIFE
Play: THIS WONDERFUL LIFE by Steve Murray,
Adapted from the screenplay, It's A Wonderful Life, by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling
Where: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany, NY 12207
Dates/Times: Runs through: Sat., Dec. 22
Previews: Nov. 23-26
Opening night: Nov. 27, 7:30 curtain
Performances: Tues-Thurs, 7:30PM, Fri/Sat 8PM, Sat 3PM, Sun 2PM, Wed matinee: Dec. 5, 2PM
Directed by: Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill
Set Design: Jo Winiarski
Lighting Design: Deborah Constantine
Sound Design: Steve Stevens
Projection Design: Daniel Heffernan
Costume Design: Carolyn Walker
Nov. 23. Black Friday preview discount: All seats $25
Nov. 24 & 25, Food Bank special preview discounts: $10 off each regularly priced ticket with donation of a non-perishable food item to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY.
Nov. 27. Opening Night: 6:30PM. Pre-show music, Capital Rep lobby, featuring University at Albany Chamber Singers - with pianist Joshua Tanis; 7:30PM curtain; post-show complimentary champagne toast and dessert for all patrons.
Regular prices: $30 - $60
Smart Seats: (all shows) $20
Students with valid ID: $16, all shows
Box office/tickets: TICKETS BY PROCTORS: (518) 445-SHOW