It’s A Wonderful Life
IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE
Review by Brenda Repland
During the Christmas holiday season, we can always look forward to seeing “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the Frank Capra classic film (on TV). In the production that just opened at the Irish Repertory Theatre, the show is set in a radio station in the 1940’s, with live sound artist, and featuring six actors portraying 25 unforgettable characters.
The story opens with George Bailey (Aaron Gaines) – the nicest guy in town – in a terrible predicament. He’s perched on a bridge about to jump. But before that can happen, his guardian angel, Clarence (Dewey Caddell) appears. He explains to George that he has to do something really good to earn his wings. So he intends to help George.
We will learn about George’s life and how he got in his current difficulty. The radio broadcast setting provides the perfect opportunity to see the varied talents of these actors. Starting with Ian Holcomb as a cloying announcer and including those affecting and most affected by George (family, work associates).
Aaron Gaines is ideal as George, the part played by Jimmy Stewart in the movie; Ian Holcomb as a deathly serious bank examiner; Orlagh Cassidy in roles ranging from a child to a whiny neighbor and using her delightful capacity for accents. But the greatest kudos go to Dewey Caddell who brought great life to the entire cast. Some actors have that gift of focusing the audience’s attention. He is one of them!
This is a gentle and most entertaining play AND it has a happy ending. Just what we need these days. Don’t miss it.