Category Archive for: ‘Flora Lynn Isaacson’

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at MTC

Gabriel Marin as George and Sarah Overman as Mary in MTC’s It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

The Frank Capra film classic takes on a different twist at Marin Theatre Company in Joe Landry’s adaptation with five actors playing radio actors voicing dozens of characters and creating all the sound effects as if performing in a radio drama in front of a studio audience.  Jon Tracy directs this famous tale of George Bailey’s crisis of faith and his lovable guardian angel, Clarence.

The intimate space of MTC is transformed into the 1940’s radio studio of New York Station A at WMTC. The audience is whisked back in time as they watch five wonderful actors create all the characters who populate the magical world of Bedford Falls.

Gabriel Marin plays Jake Laurents who plays a sincere and earnest George Bailey.  Sarah Overman is Sally Applewhite who plays a sunny and delightful Mary who becomes George’s wife.  Michael Gene Sullivan plays the announcer for WMTC as well as the voices of the villainous old miser, Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy, Mr. Gower (the druggist) and bartender, Martini.  Carrie Paff plays Lana Sherwood who lends her versatile voice and acting skills to every other female in the play, ranging from a small child to a senior citizen and from the town’s siren, Violet to George Bailey’s mom.  Rounding out the cast is Patrick Kelly Jones who plays Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood who brings to life the saving angel Clarence, Harry Bailey (George’s father), Sam Wainwright, Harry’s close friend and others.

This charming MTC production sets it all in an elegant, warmly lit studio.  Scenery by Eric Sinkkonen achieves some holiday effects with a lovely tree and a view through a high window of falling snow.  Lighting by Michael Palumbo adds a special glow.  The actors are costumed by Callie Floor in attractive period suits and dresses. The ladies hairstyles even look right.

Michael Gene Sullivan does a warm up with the audience at the beginning of the show to get them to applaud when the applause light goes on. Director Jon Tracy lets the actors open up to one another by having them memorize their lines. They only make use of their scripts as a prop.

Rekindle your holiday spirit with this delightful, family-friendly celebration with this special holiday gift from Marin Theatre Company.

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio plays runs November 23-December 16, 2012 at  MTC. Performances are Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m.; Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Matinees are every Sunday at 2 p.m. and also, Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m. as well as Thursday, December 6 at 1 p.m.

Marin Theater Company is located at 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley.  For tickets, call 415-388-5208 or go to Coming up next at MTC will be Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, directed by Jasson Minadakis, January 24-February 17, 2013.

Flora Lynn Isaacson




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