After its rousing reception from sold-out crowds three years ago, Director Heather Sconce and a cast of 55, are returning to the Sierra Pines Church for eight performances of the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life - The Musical.
The musical faithfully follows George Bailey’s life from his childhood dreams to his midlife disappointments and beyond, as everyone takes a journey to discover whether his life has mattered or not.
“Cinematically scored and theatrically staged, this adaptation breathes musical life into a familiar story, while retaining the warmth, humor, and pathos of the original,” Sconce said. “A new holiday classic for devotees and newcomers alike. I am so excited to bring this iconic show back to the mountains ... I felt like it was time,” Sconce said. “The story is so special to so many people and to experience in a live, theatrical setting really puts you in Bedford Falls with the Baileys, Clarence, and all the rest of the town’s people. The music in this show is absolutely phenomenal and my cast of 55 will blow your socks off with their sound.”
Written by Keith Ferguson and Bruce Greer, Sconce said she remembers watching the movie as a little girl and since directing this production, the story has become very special for her.
“I can’t wait for everyone in the Mountain Area to experience this beautiful musical,” Sconce said.
Jordan Michel is returning in the iconic role of George Bailey (played in the 1946 movie by James Stewart).
“Jordan has an incredible way of acting and reacting and you truly believe he is who he is portraying,” Sconce said. “He is also very heartfelt when he sings as well. He will definitely take the audience on a journey.”
Michel says it’s a privilege for him to reprise the role of George Bailey.
“George is the hard work ing hometown hero and favored son of Bedford falls,” Michel said. “It’s a Wonderful life is a Christmas classic, and this cast is amazing. It has been my pleasure to share the space with them and be inspired by their hard work and dedication. This show is chicken noodle soup for the soul. Bring your families and make some great holiday memories.”
Another returnee to his role is Michael Tweedy, as the lovable angel, Clarence, who is trying to earn his wings. Sconce said if you have never heard Tweedy sing, you do not want to miss this show.
“I’m not biased because he’s my daddy, but he really is one of the best singers I’ve ever heard,” Sconce proudly said.
Other actors who some will recognize and others who are new to our stage include Bob Heidebrechtwho is playing the villainous Henry Potter.
“Bob, who played Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, brings a wonderful dimension to Potter that I can’t wait for audiences to see,” Sconce said.
“Henry Potter is a self-centered, cantankerous old man who owns most of Bedford Falls and views personal wealth as the ultimate measuring stick of an individual,” explains Heidebrecht. “His character is a stark contrast to the Baileys who make personal sacrifices to help meet the needs of the people ofBedford Falls and are loved because of it.”
Heidebrecht said he usually plays the ‘nice guy’ in productions, so playing Potter is a super fun challenge for him.
“The interactions between Potter and George Bailey produce some of the more tense moments in the show and really stretch me as an actor. When the cast ends up ‘booing’ me after my scenes I figure I’m on the right track,” Heidebrecht said.
Heidebrecht said there are some amazing cast members who could hold there own in any theater company.
“We have a great time together as a cast and this feeling translates onto the stage. In the end, the show will send you home feeling like there is still hope in the world,” Heidebrecht said.
Sconce will return in her role as Mary Hatch. “Getting to act opposite these amazing actors, including B.K. Robinson who does an amazing job as Harry Bailey,” Sconce said.
Other cast members and their character include Mark Robinson (Uncle Billy), Melinda Green (Cousin Tilly), Noah Allen (Sam Wainwright), Rosemary Bellisario (Violet Bick), and a newcomer to our stage this year is Laura LaTour as Mama Bailey.
Santa will be in the lobby before each show, starting an hour before curtain, and carolers will be there to serenade guests into the Christmas spirit.
“If you’ve never seen the movie or if it’s a staple Christmas tradition in your household, you do not want to miss this fantastic show,” Sconce said.
Details: It’s a Wonderful Life - The Musical - 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 28, 9, 15, and 16, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 3 and 10. $14 for adults, $12 for seniors (60+), $10 for children 10 and under. www.wonderfullifetickets.com., Sierra Pines Church, 40855 Covery Court, Oakhurst - Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (559) 683-2882.