by Hal Gray
GREENSBORO – “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is being performed twice this December in the Greensboro United Church of Christ (GUCC), on December 14 and December 17.
The play was inspired by the American classic 1946 film starring James Stewart, as George Bailey, who is saved from suicide by a considerate angel who shows Bailey how important he’s been in the lives of loved ones.
The setting involves a group of assorted small-town characters who give the play variety and appeal. Perhaps a little old fashioned, the play is also inspirational and heartwarming and shows that it is really a family, friends and honest work that make the wonderful life.
The initial movie script went through numerous re-writes, and the movie rights were eventually sold to Frank Capra who quickly recruited James Stewart as George Bailey. Donna Reed became his wife, Mary. Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed all called the original movie their favorite one. Despite becoming an American classic, the movie was not an immediate hit. Although it has become an iconic Christmas movie, the film was actually shot during a heat wave in the summer of 1946 so that sweat can be seen on some of the original actors.
Joe Landry, writer of the radio play, adapted “It’s a Wonderful Life” as if it were a live radio broadcast. The presentation in Greensboro is a condensed version of Landry’s original and runs a little over an hour. The play is being performed Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m.
A freewill donation made at the door will benefit the GUCC Community Assistance Fund which is used to help families in the greater Greensboro community with groceries, utility bills, rent, insurance, car repairs, and other emergency expenses.