A holiday classic returns with a new twist as Screen Plays: Hollywood’s Golden Age on Stage presents “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Rochester’s Multi-use Community Cultural Center November 20-25.
Danny Kunz and Lauren MacDonough, two of the show’s performers, discussed the unique production Monday during News 8 at Noon.
“What’s interesting about this particular performance that Screen Plays is putting on, is that it’ll take the guise of a 1940s’ radio play,” explained Kunz. “I will be playing a voice-actor playing ‘George Bailey,’ so it’s kind of a story within a story. I think when anybody is kind of taking on a classic, iconic character, it’s good to be reverent to the source material, but you also want to make the material your own. Frank Capra and Frances Goodrich wrote the screenplay for ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and they did very well in that, it’s not a very complicated story. George Bailey’s joys and his struggles are always made pretty clear to the audience, but there’s lots of rich dialogue and rich character relationships that George has to explore.”
The audience will experience the making of a live radio play. “We will have scripts in hand, because this is like a 1940’s radio play, in which we’re going to be talking in front of microphones,” said MacDonough. “We are going to be doing a little bit of choreography. There’s some songs throughout. There’s jingles! There’s commercials for Ducks toilet cake and Camel cigarettes. It’s actually a really fun and unique way to present this story.”
She added, “We have a live ‘Applause’ sign, that our Foley Artist uses, and our ‘On Air’ sign is on and off, just like a 1940’s radio station.”
Kunz said, “We want to give a special acknowledgment to Mr. Ron Dufort. Ron is an engineer, so he definitely approaches these sound effects from an engineer’s mindset. Ron has been knocking it out of the park so far as we move through rehearsals. He will be doing lots of tinkering to with different devices to make sound effects, and Ron will also be doing the voice of ‘Harry Bailey,’ the younger brother. Props to Ron! He definitely has his work cut out for him, but he’s going to do a great job. The whole cast is going to do a great job with this!”
Get your tickets at the MuCCC on Atlantic Avenue in Rochester, or online at MuCCC.org.