A Wonderful Life"
Scott Lenoir (right) as Mr. Gower, the druggist, gives
Young George Bailey, played by Christopher Hayman, a
hard time when he does not deliver the right medicine.
The scene is one of the most poignant in "It's
a Wonderful Life."
Holiday production is "It's A Wonderful Life."
THURSDAY, 07 DECEMBER 2000 at 7:30 p.m. at Jake and Freda
Stein Hall ~ Bass Cultural Center, Greenville. Continued Friday
& Saturday, ending with a 2:30 p.m. matinee Sunday.
DCS welcome the holiday season with a classic Christmas story.
Getting in the spirit of Christmas will be easy when Delta
audiences are treated to one of the most popular and heartwarming
plays ever staged.
A Wonderful Life, opens Thursday, Dec. 7 and runs through
Dec. 9 with curtain at 7:30 p.m. There will be a Sunday matinee
on Dec. 10 at 2:30 p.m. in the Jake and Freda Stein Hall of
the Bass Cultural Center.
are $10 for adults and $5 students and may be purchased at
Dattel & Co., Wells-Lott Village Pharmacy, McCormick Book
Inn, Tecinfo in Leland, Hunters Pharmacy in Lake Village
and at the door each night prior to production.
by many as the definitive Christmas movie,Its
A Wonderful Life tells the tale of a man whose life
is recognized as being wonderful and truly rich after he suffers
through many hardships and trials. The hero is George Bailey,
played by Michael Sherman.
George is a man who never quite makes it out of his quiet
birthplace of Bedford Falls. As a young man he dreams of shaking
the dust from his shoes and traveling to far-off lands, but
one thing and then another keep him at home especially
his responsibility to the family savings and loan association,
which is the only thing standing between Bedford Falls and
the greed of Mr. Potter, played by Bill Downs, the avaricious
Bill Payne (right) as Uncle Billy, tries to reassure
customers at the Bedford Falls Savings and Loan in this
scene from "It's a Wonderful Life." Other
characters are (from left) Mike Elrod as Mr. Welch,
Bradley Davis as the newspaper boy and Helen Evans as
marries his high school sweet- heart (Maria Sherman), settles
down to raise a family, and helps half the poor folks in town
buy homes where they can raise their own. Then, when Georges
ab- sentminded uncle (Bill Payne) misplaces some bank funds
during the Christmas season, it looks as if the evil Potter
will have his way after all.
loses hope and turns mean. He despairs, and is standing on
a bridge contemplating suicide when an Angel 2nd Class named
Clarence (Rodrick Shannon) saves him and shows him what life
in Bedford Falls would have been like without him.
Capra never intended Its a Wonderful Life
to be pigeonholed as a Christmas picture. This
was the first movie he made after returning from service in
World War II, and he wanted it to be special a celebration
of the lives and dreams of Americas ordinary citizens,
who tried the best they could to do the right thing by themselves
and their neighbors.
becoming Hollywoods poet of the common man in the 1930s
with an extraordinary series of populist parables (It
Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, You Cant
Take It With You), Capra found the idea for Its
a Wonderful Life in a story by Philip Van Doren Stern
that had been gathering dust on studio shelves. For Stewart,
also recently back in civilian clothes, the movie was a chance
to work again with Capra, for whom he had played Mr. Smith.
trailer for the movie (included on the Criterion disk) played
up the love angle between Stewart and Donna Reed and played
down the message but the movie was not a box office
hit, and was all but forgotten before the public domain prints
began to make their rounds.
Marie Sherman is Mary Bailey and Michael Sherman is
George Bailey in the Delta Center Stage production of
"It's a Wonderful Life" which opens Dec. 7
for four performances
A Wonderful Life is not just a heart-warming message
picture. The conclusion of the film makes such an impact
that some of the earlier scenes may be overlooked such
as the slapstick comedy of the high school hop, where the
dance floor opens over a swimming pool, and Stewart and Reed
accidentally jitterbug right into the water. (The covered
pool was not a set but actually existed at Hollywood High
also the drama of George rescuing his younger brother from
a fall through the ice, and the scene where Donna Reed loses
her bathrobe and Stewart ends up talking to the shrubbery.
The telephone scene where an angry Stewart and Reed
find themselves helplessly drawn toward each other
is wonderfully romantically charged. And the darker later
passages have an elemental power, as the drunken George Bailey
staggers through a town he wants to hate, and then revisits
it through the help of a gentle angel. Even the corniest scenes
in the movie those galaxies that wink while the heavens
consult on Georges fate work because they are
so disarmingly simple. A more sophisticated approach might
have seemed labored.
A Wonderful Life did little for Frank Capras postwar
career, and indeed he never regained the box office magic
that he had during the 1930s. Such later films as State
of the Union (1948) and Pocketful of Miracles
(1961) have the Capra touch but not the magic, and the director
did not make another feature after 1961. But he remained hale
and hearty until a stroke slowed him in the late 1980s; and
he died in 1991.
includes Michael Sherman, Maria Sherman, Rodrick Shannon,
Bill Downs, Bill Payne, Nicole Newsom, Jeff Ma, Gina Spadafore,
Angelique Newsom, Marguerite Sherman, Camille Davis, Christopher
Hayman, Scott Lenoir, Bradley Davis, Cory Cunningham, Tim
Latham, Miller King, Jimmy Pearson, Tucker Gore, Jonathan
Jarett, Tam Lee, Carolyn Hall Hunter, Abby Kinnebrew, Margaret
Hines, Mark DiBiase, Carolyn Michelle Hunter, Brittany Jelks,
Alison Kinnebrew, Stephanie Brooks, Lauren DeLap, JoAnne Henry,
Kristen Brooks, Gwen Kinnebrew, Priscilla Duke, Kelsey Kinnebrew,
Thomas Sherman, Michael Hayman, Anna Hayman, Mike Elrod, Helen
Evans, Julie Evans, Jeanette Johnson, and Brantley Newsom.
Assistant Directors: Beth Downs & Ann Kinnebrew
Musical Director: JoAnne Henry
Set Design: Robby Scucchi
Lights: Tim Bixler, Richard Lovings
Sound: Tim Bailey, Rick Byler
Set Construction: Warren Harper and Crew
Stage Manager: Mike Elrod
Stage Crew: Roxanne Hayman
Tickets: Joy DeLap
Props: Sherrie Russell
Make-up: Castlen Tindall
Website: Will Chipman
Publicity: Kelli Miller, Robby Scucchi, Bill Downs, Mike Elrod
Posters and Programs: Charlene Louwerens, Robby Scucchi
Costumes: Mary Frances Maxey, Deanna Harper, Sonya Bixler,
Photos by Robby Scucchi
Copyright © 2000 The Delta Democrat Times.