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
Enjoy the Saint Louis Zoo online! Zoom with Saint Louis Zoo educators is a live, free presentation that allows families to learn more about animals and how amazing they are. Themes vary, and registration in advance is required. After registering, you'll receive a confirmation email letting you know how to join.
If you can't join the live presentation, the recordings are available on the zoo's web site at stlzoo.org/STLZOOms
The Nine Network is producing two hours of literacy and math instruction for prekindergarten through fourth grade weekdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The grade-appropriate instruction is taught by local educators at home, and is available on your St. Louis PBS station, channel 9.
Purina Farms is bringing the best of the farm to your home every week! You can virtually explore Purina Farms through videos featuring the animals, dog trainers and others who work there, as well as the pets who work and play at Purina Farms every day. Each day of the week features videos on a variety of topics including animal connections, training tips and responsible pet care advice for kids.
The Magic House is bringing innovative, hands-on learning to you at home with its #MagicAtHome series of interactive, instructional online presentations. The Magic At Home series of activities includes lots of fun projects that you can make at home with common materials. The easy-to-follow directions mean your kids can make paper sculpture, do shaving cream marble painting, create make-your-own flowers, go "fishin," make TP roll animals, make salad spin art and more.
The Science Louis Science Center is continuing to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning through its online Science @ Home series! Visit the Science Center's web site or social media channels for DIY science experiments that can be done at home, Amazing Science Demonstrations from the Science Center's Energy Stage team, connections to local scientists, astronomy updates from the McDonnell Planetarium, live chats and more. Content is designed for all ages.