Monday, November 25, 2013

It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at Shakespeare Santa Cruz

We saw yesterday's matinee of It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play by Joe Landryat Shakespeare Santa Cruz and I want to recommend it to readers in the SF Bay area (and anyone visiting during its run). Information on the show can be found at the SSC site:

Become the studio audience as just nine actors perform dozens of beloved Bedford Falls characters, all in the style of a live 1940s radio broadcast. Complete with amusing jingles and classic sound effects produced right on stage, this production has become an annual favorite in cities across America. Join in the holiday spirit and experience this classic story about the power of community with a production for the entire family.

The SSC holiday show is usually geared specifically toward kids (I've always enjoyed them, too), while this production is more for all ages. During the week I went over with the boys some of the particulars in the play so they could understand more of it, such as what a live radio production entailed, foley art, the Depression, bank runs, Building and Loan entities, etc. There are some good YouTube resources on foley art, especially some of the "Behind the Mike" or related programs.

It's a solid adaptation of the Frank Capra movie with added touches centering around the live radio aspect, set on Christmas Eve 1946, adding more nostalgia through the (almost) bygone medium. For more on the show, see Shakespeare Santa Cruz's Facebook page (which is where I got the show picture below).

Update (26 Nov 2013): The review in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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