Theatre Mirror Reviews - "It's A Wonderful Life"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


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entire contents copyright 2001 by Robert Guenthner

"It's A Wonderful Life"

Reviewed by Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump


David Connolly-Director
Kerry Dowling-Lighting
Ed DiMarzio-Sound
Stacey Stephens-Costumes
Meg Fofonoff-Producer


Jennifer Alison-Jonathan Carnes-Matthew Cavanaugh-Christopher Cook Rick Copeland-Prescott Crocker-Belle Cushing-Amanda Dix-Gabe Dye Marcy Fischer-Gene Flemming-Rebecca Fofonoff-Pat Gavin Bettina Gray Heather Hannon-Laurel Brook-David Leith-Mikki Lipsey-Jeffrey Kelly Jeff Mahoney-Ray O'Hare-Jo Pallis-Jay Romono-Kelly Ristaino Nathen Schultz-Brett Shellenberger-Joseph Siriani-Hank Stample Nate Tepper-Megan Walter-Christine Wood-Colleen Zapcic

My Christmas season has officially begun. I attended the first of several syrupy sweet shows that lead up to December 25th. My biggest problem with this type of show, is that I love them. As much as I try to BAH HUMBUG the whole goody goody scene, I find myself walking out of the theater feeling good about life. In It's A Wonderful Life, we are shown that even a good person who has never wronged anyone, and has striven to be a model citizen and family man, can be brought to the brink of self destruction. The friends and neighbors of this man, along with a heavenly visitor, prove to him that his life had meaning, and is worth living. The play contains everything that is needed for a successful Christmas show. In the play there is humor, love, and a scrooge like character for us to dislike. How has this play lasted so long without swears, sex and violence? I guess by proving love and hope have a place in his world.

I have come to expect good shows from Fiddlehead, and this production did nothing that would lower my opinion.

The couple of lines that Randi Jo [ Young Violet ], and Colleen [ Young Mary ], had in the drug store were hilarious. Both girls spoke loud and clear.

Gabe [ Teen George ], soliloquy in the first act was very well done. The young man is showing rapid improvement with each show he does.

I especially liked the part where Mary came home from college. George's hesitancy to express his feelings was a belly laugh. Mary was wonderful in the way she countered his resistance, and reeled him in.

Ray [ Uncle Billy ] is the consummate character actor. He brings his own brand of humor to each role he does. I am always pleased with his work.

Mikki [ Mother Bailey ] was so lovable. She looked and acted her part to perfection.

I hope I get to see Laurel [ Violet ] in another show soon. A beautiful young lady that made me forget all of the others I have seen playing Violet.

Jennifer [ Mary Bailey ] is another new face to Fiddlehead. A marvelous acting job to go with her stunningly good looks.

Jeff [ Clarence ] is branching out in his choice of roles. He has a knack for playing light comedy. He has played leading men in straight and musical comedy, and has excelled in both. I would like to see him go for a dramatic role soon.

Joe Siriani [ Mr. Potter ] proved what a versatile actor he is. I have seen Joe perform many times in many different roles. I have always thought of him as a nice guy, but the way he did Potter has me thinking. He must have a mean steak in him to be so convincing as that crotchety old skinflint.

Christopher [ George Bailey ] is a star in the making. His acting in the show was at a professional level. He was able to handle the swift mood changes the part demanded. I am going to see the show a second time,Chris is a big reason why I am returning.

Over all, the acting in the show was above what you would expect from local theater. The scenery was minimal, allowing the audience to concentrate on the actors. The sound system is excellent, never a word of dialog missed even by these old ears. For an opening night, all went smooth.

"It's A Wonderful Life" (30 November - 16 December)
109 Central Street, NORWELL MA
1 (781)762-4064

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide