Theatre Mirror Review>"It's A Wonderful Life"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2015 by Tony Annicone

"It's A Wonderful Life"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

"IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Players second production of their 107th season is the traditional holiday classic "It's A Wonderful Life." It is a series of 30 vignettes which tells the story of George Bailey, a good man who stumbles upon some difficult times and in an act of true desperation, is offered the chance to the value of his life by his guardian angel, Clarence. George finds out that "no man is a failure who has friends." For years, his family run business, The Bailey Brothers Building and Loan has been an asset to the small community of Bedford Falls, offering loans to ordinary people of good character when the regular bank wouldn't consider them. However the Building Loan company has been a thorn in the side of the nasty and mean Mr. Potter who wants to control all commerce in town. The defeat of this insidious creature is wonderful to behold. Director Alex Duckworth molds his huge cast into these characters from the past and at the close of the show the audience cheers George Bailey's success at realizing that it is a wonderful life after all.

David Kane is fabulous as George Bailey. His portrayal displays an inner warmth and caring for his family members that melt the hearts of the audience with his sincerity. David also handles the comic moments with ease, too. He plays the younger George which displays his acting skills and tugs at your heartstrings when he saves the local druggist from accidentally poisoning a young boy with the wrong medication. He is also strong when he stands up to the evil Mr. Potter. This is when the show comes to life when they first tangle together.Another winning performance is by Roger Lemelin as Clarence, the Angel. He finally wins his wings by saving George's life. His lovable and whimsical character endears himself to the audience beautifully.

                                            Dennis Bouchard commands the stage as the evil and horrible, Mr. Potter. His first entrance in his wheelchair brings the show to life. His scenes with David as George crackle with tension. The audience loves it when he finally gets his comeuppance when George wins the day with the help of his many friends.Katie Preston is George's wife, Mary. She is excellent in this role, making the transition from doting girl friend into mature wife with ease. Mary helps bail George out of his money problem during the run on the bank when she gives up their honeymoon money. She also brings George the good news about the help of all his friends near the end of the show. The four children are wonderfully played by Colin Carcieri Cassidy, Peyton Ruiz, Claire Dancause and Sophie Appel.

Other comic characters include W. Grant Willis as the forgetful Uncle Billy who loses $8000 while Katie Dancause as Aunt Tilly delivers her one liners splendidly. Michael Farrelly as Bert, the cop and Patrick T. Clark as Ernie, the mailman lend some levity to the show. Kristin McGuirk plays Violet who had a crush on George when they were kids while Becky Kilcline plays the mean bank examiner.So for a fun filled Christmas show that will make you laugh and cry in all the right places, be sure to catch "It's A Wonderful Life" at Players before time runs out. To join the 107 year old theater club, be sure to call Bill Applegate at 273-0590.

"It's A Wonderful Life" (4 - 13 December)
THE PLAYERS
@ Barker Playhouse, 400 benefit Street, PROVIDENCE RI
1(401)273-0590

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |