SAVE THE DATE: Dec. 6 to 31
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Gateway Theatre is presenting a musical adaptation of the timeless holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
For those who have managed to miss the Frank Capra movie of the same name, the story follows the life of George Bailey, who crosses paths with a wayward angel on Christmas Eve, when he needs help the most. This version has been adapted by New West’s own Peter Jorgensen (of Patrick Street Productions), based on the film and the original story by Philip Van Doren Stern.
Jorgensen directs a cast that includes Nick Fontaine as George Bailey, Greg Armstrong-Morris as Clarence, Erin Aberle-Palm as Mary and Jovanni Sy (who’s also Gateway Theatre’s artistic director) as Mr. Potter. Nick Preston is Harry Bailey, Jim Hibbard is Uncle Billy and Michelle Collier is Ma Bailey.
WHY SEE IT?
Because Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life are meant to go together – and because the world is in need of the show’s message now more than ever.
“Growing up, Christmas meant two things: boxes and boxes of Clementine oranges and watching It’s a Wonderful Life,” Sy said in a press release. “Frank Capra doesn’t shy away from showing us how dire circumstances can crush even the most resilient soul. I think Capra knew that we had to witness George at his absolute lowest point in order to make George’s spiritual renewal so profoundly uplifting.
“Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the unceasing torrent of discouraging news, divisive rhetoric and outrage, and then Clarence reminds me (as he reminds George) that loving friends can help us weather the darkest of times.”
WHAT’S DIFFERENT THIS TIME OUT?
This production features a 10-piece orchestra interpreting holiday favourites and Broadway classics from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s by some of the greatest songwirters of the period – think George and Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill.
WHEN’S IT ON?
The show runs Dec. 6 to 31. It's in preview on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m., with opening night Friday at 8 p.m. It runs until Dec. 26, with nightly shows at 8 p.m. (except Sundays and Mondays, and Dec. 11, 25 and 26). There are matinees on Sundays (Dec. 9, 16, 23 and 30) at 2 p.m., with a Tuesday, Dec. 11 matinee at 1 p.m. and a Wednesday, Dec. 26 matinee at 2 p.m.
Special events include a tea-and-cake matinee on Dec. 11; a Talkback Thursday on Dec. 13; an “afterplay” discussion on Dec. 12 and Dec. 14, and a VocalEye described performance (for those who are blind or partially sighted) on Dec. 19 and Dec. 23.
SO WHAT ABOUT TICKETS?
Tickets start at $29, available at tickets.gatewaytheatre.com or 604-270-1812. Gateway Theatre is at 6500 Gilbert Rd., Richmond.
See www.gatewaytheatre.com/its-wonderful-life for all the details.