Evergreen Family Theatre to perform ‘Wonderful Life’ adaptation beginning Nov. 25

The Evergreen Family Theatre in Redmond will be performing "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" beginning Nov. 25.

The Evergreen Family Theatre will present 'It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play' beginning Friday. Two performances will feature local celebrity Pat Cashman (center).

The Evergreen Family Theatre will present 'It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play' beginning Friday. Two performances will feature local celebrity Pat Cashman (center).

Fans of the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life” will have the opportunity to experience the classic holiday story in a different way, from Friday through Dec. 10.

The Evergreen Family Theatre (EFT) in Redmond is presenting “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” this holiday season, which will feature local celebrity Pat Cashman in two performances.

Shows will be Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with additional 3 p.m. shows on Saturday. Cashman’s performances will be at 3 p.m. on Dec. 3 and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. All shows will be at the RedWood Family Church at 11500 Redmond-Woodinville Rd. in Redmond.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $13 for seniors and students. Tickets are available online at brownpapertickets.com or at the door.

The Joe Landry play, with original music by Kevin Connors, will be performed in the style of a live 1940s radio show — singing commercials included — when radio stations had live audiences for their shows.

“The actors, their characters will be radio actors,” explained director Marsha Stueckle. “You can actually close your eyes and just let it be like a radio broadcast.”

“Wonderful Life” is the story of George Bailey as he discovers what life would be like if he never existed, retold as a live radio broadcast. Three of the five the actors will play multiple roles from the film and perform in different voices, Stueckle said. The actors playing George and Mary Bailey will stick with their respective single role because they are larger parts.

“We have just a really wonderful cast,” she said.

Cashman will play George Bailey during his performances.

Stueckle said Cashman is friends with sportscaster and public speaker Tony Ventrella, who is a board member for EFT and has participated in a number of the group’s productions. Ventrella asked Cashman if he would like to participate in the play and Stueckle said he agreed.

In addition to the cast’s voice talents, Stueckle said the play features sound effects to recreate the sounds of the film, such as breaking glass, doors opening and closing and shoes crunching on snow.

“We worked weeks to get it to flow seamlessly,” Stueckle said.

The play will also feature authentic props from the era such as telephones and microphones. Stueckle said a number of their props were loaned to EFT by the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound.

“They have been so kind,” she said.

This is the second time EFT has performed “Wonderful Life.” Stueckle said the first production was in 2008.

“I think it was well received,” she said of the experience.

Stueckle added that audience members are encouraged to dress up in their best 1940s costumes.




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