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Holiday classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ reimagined


The Riverbend Players are set to perform It’s a
Wonderful Life: a live Radio Play Nov. 9. – Courtesy Photo

Riverbend Players is pleased to announce performance dates and casting for their upcoming production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” by Joe Landry at the North County Recreation District (NCRD) Performing Arts Center in Nehalem.

The show premieres 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and will run through Nov. 18.

This play is adapted from the Frank Capra film of the same name from the 1940s. The original film was not a big hit at the box office but soon became recognized as a Christmas classic.

“It’s a Wonderful Life”, by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, Jo Swerling, and Phillip Van Doren Stern, is about a young George Bailey, overwhelmed by family obligations and a sense of responsibility toward his community, feels tied down to a company he never had an interest in working for, and a life he never wanted to live. As he ages, he sees his youth, dreams and opportunities pass him by. Unknown to George, all of his friends and family have been praying for him to get through those hard times. Told through the point of view of a group of angels, he is met by his guardian angel Clarence, as he contemplates ending his life.

The cast features talented veteran and new actors including Mike Arseneault (as George Bailey), Dave Bell (as Bert, Bridgekeeper, Announcer, Old Man Collins, Mr. Welch, Ed, Peter Baily, Joseph), Stephen Clark (as Mr. Potter, Gower, Billy, Martini, Nick, Binky, Cop, Sheriff), Jenny Greenleaf (as Pete, Schultz, Tommy, Sadie Vance, Mrs. Hatch, Zuzu), Kimber Lundy (as Violet, Janie, Ruth, Matilda, Rose Bailey, Mrs. Thompson), Linda Makohon (as Mary Hatch), and Jeff Slamal (as Clarence, Harry, Ernie, Sam, Dr. Campbell, Charlie and “The Man”) collectively playing all 41 roles.

Director Tom Cocklin believes that this performance will be one of the Riverbend Players more memorable shows.

“We have such good talent, even a couple of new people, three of the seven actors are new to Riverbend Players,” Cocklin said.

The reader’s theater performance will feature a custom sound effects board including a hand-built wind machine, a thunder drum, a slide whistle, and a full-size door. Cocklin said he feels the “sound is as important as the actor-read performances in this show.”

Assistant Director Vicki Haker thinks that the performance is timed well.

“It’s about how one person can make a difference,” she said, adding it is a relevant theme for these days.

Watch for more about “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” production details, posters, cast bios and production updates by following our Facebook Group at facebook.com/Nehalemriverbendplayers/

WHAT: “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” by Joe Landry| Riverbend Players.

FORMAT: Theater Play, Serio-comedy, adult themes.

DATES AND CAST: Nov. 9 – 18

• Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

• Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

• Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. (matinee)

• Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

• Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. (matinee)

WHERE: North County Recreation District Performing Arts Center

36155 Ninth St. Nehalem, OR 97131.

TICKETS: $12 (fees are not included) in advanced and $15 (no fees) at the door.

Advance tickets available on tickettomato.com.

Bookmark and visit the Riverbend Players website: www.riverbendplayers.org.