Take a fresh look at a holiday favorite with "It's a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre," a staged production about four 1940s radio actors' presentation of the classic story.
Two performances are scheduled in the Doudna Fine Arts Center's Theatre on the Eastern Illinois University campus: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12.
The show, produced by the North Carolina Stage Company and Immediate Theatre Project, takes the audience back to the golden age of radio via the WVL studio's "live broadcast" of Frank Capra's beloved film.
When the “On Air” sign lights up, the heartwarming holiday classic comes to life through the bygone radio formula of a few hardworking actors, live sound effects and a listener’s imagination.
"It's a Wonderful Life" is the uplifting and bittersweet tale of George Bailey’s close call with death on Christmas Eve, of how important and special he is to all those around him, and what the world would have missed had he not been born. It’s a story about the people of Bedford Falls; about neighbors, friends and family; and about the difference one person makes in so many others’ lives.
The 1946 movie was nominated for five Academy Awards. The American Film Institute has ranked it as No. 11 in the list of the 100 best American films ever made, as well as naming it the most inspirational American film of all time.
"This pared-down stage version reminds us of everything we love about the movie," a reviewer wrote in the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. "The radio theater approach fits the period, and, far from distracting us, refreshes dialogue most viewers already know by heart. Portrayals are clear, earnest and deeply felt."
Tickets -- $15 for the general public, $12 for EIU employees and senior citizens, and $7 for students -- may be purchased in person at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Box Office, by telephone at 217-581-3110, or online at http://www.doudnatix.com.
The Doudna Fine Arts Center is a division of the EIU College of Arts and Humanities. For more information on the facility and scheduled events -- as well as a video clip of "It's a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre" -- please see http://www.eiu.edu/doudna.