When James T. Spencer, director of the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble (SUBE), turned to accept the applause at the 2018 Great American Brass Band Festival (GABBF) in Danville, Kentucky, he joked to himself, “Now what do we do for an…
1 actor, 32 characters—a tour de force of a holiday classic
Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings. Visit Bedford Falls this holiday season for a charming stage telling of Frank Capra’s Hollywood classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” One brave actor plays 32 characters–including George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, Mary, Martini and Zuzu–and brings everyone’s favorite family holiday charmer to wonderful life.
“This Wonderful Life,” written by Steve Murray, runs Dec. 9-Jan. 3 at Syracuse Stage. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.SyracuseStage.org, by phone at 315-443-3275 or in person at 820 E. Genesee St. “This Wonderful Life” is sponsored by Phoebe’s Restaurant and Coffee Lounge. The media sponsor is WAER 88.3. Syracuse Stage season sponsors are The Post-Standard and Time Warner Cable.
“The story of George Bailey’s journey from frustration to despair to understanding and happiness is one that celebrates the American ideal of community. The way to find value in this world as individuals is by looking more closely at the people who pass through our lives: our family, our friends, our town,” says Director Peter Amster.
Amster returns to Syracuse after having directed Stage’s production of “The Fantasticks” in spring 2008. Previously, he directed “This Wonderful Life” for Florida’s Asolo Repertory Theatre, where the production received the Sarasota Magazine Awards for Best Show and Best Actor.
Leaming will be featured in the Syracuse Stage production. He notes, “’This Wonderful Life’ reminds us that the world is full of heroes and most of them go unnoticed; that we change the world right here, where we touch it. And we can never take that for granted.”
“Why a one-man show of “It’s a Wonderful Life?” asks Amster. “Well, of course it gives a very talented actor a chance for virtuosity. But more deeply, it gives us a chance to fall under the spell of the storyteller, the single voice of the community, the bard, the rhapsodist, who brings the story up from a shared past and bodies it forth, so that we may taste again, as we do almost every year, the sweetness of the holiday dish, and its savory, if paradoxical message: we can only find our best selves in selflessness.”
Dec. 10 will be LGBT Pride Night for the production, while the Welch Allyn signed interpreted performance will take place Dec. 19, in memory of Susan Thompson. A signed matinee will take place at 3:30 p.m.