Take a holiday trip back to the 1940s with the Missoula Community Theatre during “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” Dec. 10-20.
In the old days, families would sit around the radio to listen to a show. This December, families and friends can gather again – this time around a computer or television – to watch Bedford Falls come to life, in a show presented exclusively as a streamed performance. The only in-person seating will be in the comfy living rooms of the audience!
Few stories tug at the holiday heartstrings as universally as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which is one of the reasons MCT chose to present it, says director Joseph Martinez. “It’s the values of basic goodness and sacrifice, the gift of friendship, and the sense of community.”
The beloved story of George Bailey’s magical Christmas Eve, as he discovers the ripple effect of one person’s life on his community, and how his community came through for him, may resonate even more vividly with Missoulians this year. It certainly does for the Missoula Community Theatre, which had to cancel its planned 50th anniversary season.
Yet, MCT is finding encouragement and support from the community to help the company provide innovative selections that may be enjoyed while complying with safety protocols and still maintain the artistic excellence for which MCT is known.
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” inspires audiences to remember the power of kindness and redemption. A talented ensemble cast of six Missoula actors masterfully brings to life every character, and every sound effect, promising to captivate viewers and wrap them in the holiday spirit.
Martinez says that because the show is a live radio play, rehearsals by Zoom have worked very well. “It’s thrilling to watch the six actors bring each character to life as they approach the microphone and become the entire community of Bedford Falls,” he says. “They are making incredibly interesting choices.”
Playing the roles of George and Mary Bailey are real-life couple and professional actors Brad Rupp and Alissa Tucker, who recently moved back to Missoula. Alissa’s love for the stage began with her experiences with the Missoula Community Theatre, playing Kim MacAfee in “Bye Bye Birdie,” among other roles. You can also see her in “Christmas on the Square,” the new Dolly Parton movie on Netflix.
Performances of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” will be available to stream on-demand Dec. 10-20. Tickets are $20 plus service fee and available at MCTinc.org.