W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre


Back for a second holiday season!

It's A Wonderful Life
The 1946 Live Radio Play

adapted by Anthony Palermo
directed by Charlotte Moore

December 4th - 29th

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Christmas Eve, 1946... George Bailey, the nicest guy in town is in a terrible predicament. We find him perched precariously on a bridge, on the verge of suicide. Enter Clarence, George’s guardian angel, who has not yet earned his wings. Clarence shows George what Bedford Falls would be if George had never been born!

This beloved holiday-season drama is brought vividly to life in a stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s classic film of sacrifice and redemption in small-town America. Set in a radio station in the 1940s, with a live sound FX artist, this poignant drama features six actors portraying 25 unforgettable characters.

P.S. Clarence wins his wings

Photo by Carol Rosegg featuring Ian Holcomb & Kristin Griffith

Performance Schedule:
Wed at 3pm & 8pm
| Thu at 7pm | Fri at 8pm | Sat at 3pm & 8pm | Sun at 3pm
Special performances December 23rd at 7pm and December 27th at 3pm
No performances Christmas Eve or Christmas Day

Approx. Running Time: 70 minutes, no intermission

What the Critics Have to Say...

Off-Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre is presenting a new look at a classic holiday film called "It's a Wonderful Life: The 1946 Live Radio Play." NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.

New York has certainly seen its share of film-to-stage adaptations, and it seems everyone's getting into the act, even that off-Broadway stalwart, the Irish Rep. But instead of trying to reproduce "It's A Wonderful Life" on stage, the company turned the film classic into a radio play, and no matter how many times you've seen the movie, you're bound to get a renewed jolt of nostalgia for those quaintly endearing residents of Bedford Falls, N.Y.

Faithfully adapted by Anthony E. Palermo under Charlotte Moore's canny direction in the Rep's tiny basement space, "It's A Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play" presents the story of George Bailey as a radio show in 1946. The actors carry scripts and play multiple roles distinguished by various hats and crude sound effects.

Affable George just can't seem to get a break. Eager to go to college and see the world, he's forced to stay home and run his father's savings and loan business. And just as life finally seems to go George's way with a marriage to his high school sweetheart, along with a big house and family, disaster strikes, and George decides to end it all. But then there's Clarence, the bumbling but wise angel, to save the day.

Veteran Peter Maloney is in fine character playing both Clarence and the miserly banker, Mr. Potter.

As George's wife Mary, Haley Bond is quite lovely.

Kristen Griffith has a blast playing the rest of the female parts, including little Zuzu.

Rory Duffy, the SFX artist, is quite literally a hoot.

And how nice to see longtime "Phantom" star Howard McGillin up close on the small stage, a complete natural in the iconic Jimmy Stewart role.

If it's the holiday spirit you're after and tired of all the hype this time of year, you can do no better than spending 70 wonderful minutes experiencing the delightful re-telling of Frank Capra's classic movie.

- See more at: http://statenisland.ny1.com/content/lifestyles/theater_reviews/200629/ny1-theater-review---it-s-a-wonderful-life--the-1946-live-radio-play-#sthash.OxNyXiXY.dpuf

"If it's the holiday spirit you're after and tired of all the hype this time of year, you can do no better than spending 70 wonderful minutes experiencing the delightful re-telling of Frank Capra's classic movie." -NY1, Roma Torre

“This feather-light show is a small triumph...amusing parodies of 1940s commercials and an agreeable bonhomie among the cast, enabl[e] this production, like the angel Clarence, to earn its wings.” -The New York Times

“This charmingly low-tech, small-scale adaptation will make you long to see the film again.” - NY Post

"seems to get better each time I hear it." -TheaterMania

“In testament to the adaptation, director, and splendid cast, the story shines through endearing and pristine. This is a perfectly lovely way to greet the holidays.Director Charlotte Moore imbues a delightful visit to the past with freshness. Her physically minimalist approach, keeps attention fixed on the emotions of the characters rather than the actors. -Woman Around Town

"While there’s no crying need for yet another seasonal show, there's always room for good theater. In boiling Capra’s movie down to a crisp 60 minutes, shedding much of its cloying sentimentality while retaining its emotional potency, Irish Rep has created just that.”  -Backstage

The classic film comes alive in a refreshingly novel manner. And as directed by Charlotte Moore it ends up being a miniature coup de theatre.” -Curtain Up


Ensemble Haley Bond
Rory Duffy
Ensemble Kristin Griffith
Ensemble Ian Holcomb
Ensemble Peter Maloney
Ensemble Howard McGillin
Artistic Team:  
Direction Charlotte Moore
Set Design James Morgan
Costume Design David Toser
Lighting Design Michael O'Connor
Live Sound Design Zachary Williamson
Production Stage Manager Michael Palmer












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