Metro Theater Company presents It's A Wonderful Life live on stage this holiday season at the Grandel Theatre. The beloved American classic leaps to captivating life on stage in this heartwarming, enchanting adaption by St. Louis playwright John Wolbers.
This version of It's A Wonderful Life has a clever twist: the story is staged as a play within a play. More specifically, a 1940s live radio broadcast within a play. Complete with microphones, live sound effects by a Foley artist, 1940s period costumes and a diverse company of characters, the adaptation charmingly tells the story of George Bailey and the town of Bedford Falls and brilliantly touches on all the fascinating character backstories. The play also illuminates the powerful, life-affirming message that one life can change the whole fabric of a community.
The show, recommended for ages 8 and up, is 50 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A between the cast and audience.
Set in a radio station, KMTC Radio St. Louis, on Christmas Eve, 1949, the cast transforms from their radio station staff characters into multiple characters from Bedford Falls as they live broadcast It's a Wonderful Life. The witty, heartwarming script includes references to St. Louis favorites, such as Forest Park. The cast even sings "Meet Me in St. Louis."
It also includes some audience participation, with the real audience (at the Grandel) serving as the play's live studio audience, clapping every time the light-up applause sign activates.
Metro Theater Company commissioned this new adaptation, which not only brings audiences back to the golden age of radio, a time when radios were considered a household necessity and families gathered around them for news and entertainment, but it is also appealing to young and old alike.
From the honor to the characters to the play's duration of 50 minutes, It's a Wonderful Life ushers in a new generation of fans and allows older audiences to introduce the holiday mainstay to their children and grandchildren.
"I am delighted to bring this holiday classic for the whole family to the Grandel stage," said Julia Flood, artistic director at Metro Theater Company. "This fresh take on the story is deeply rooted in bringing community together and will be magic in the hands of this talented ensemble of actors."
Flood directs It's a Wonderful Life. The seven-member cast portrays multiple characters. The cast includes Carl Overly, Jr., Chris E. Ware, Roxanne McWilliams, Alicia Revé Like, Nicole Angeli, Mindy Shaw, and Abraham Shaw.
Performances are set for November 17 through December 15, 2019.
Fridays at 7 p.m.: November 22, December 6 and 13 (no performance Dec. 29).
Saturdays at 4 p.m.: November 23 & 30, December 7 (no performance Dec. 14).
Sundays at 2 p.m.: November 17 & 24, December 1, 8 & 15.
Tickets are $14 to $20 and are available through MetroTix at metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-111.
Learn more about the show at metroplays.org
For those of you who just aren't morning people, Eckerts is offering Breakfast with Santa at Dinnertime. It's exactly like Breakfast with Santa, but at dinnertime. Children can tell Santa their Christmas wishes, and Santa will have a special gift for each child.
Bring your kids and your camera to take photos with Santa at the historic and festive Kirkwood Train Station in downtown Kirkwood. On Dec. 12 there will be a special visit from live reindeer too! Free. Early arrival is recommended.