A Wonderful Life at The Armory in Janesville, Wis.
From press release
JANESVILLE, Wis.—Just in time for the season of cheer and good will, a Christmas classic is revisited, taking the stage at The Armory Restaurant and Dinner Theatre. A Wonderful Life is adapted from Frank Capra’s film, It’s a Wonderful Life, by Sheldon Harnick, with music by Joe Raposo. Let the residents of Bedford Falls warm your hearts with hope with this holiday production running from Nov. 6-Dec. 20. Purchase your tickets early to get the best seats in the house by calling (866) 995-7400 or by logging on to www.JanesvilleArmory.com.
Set in 1945 and directed by guest director Scott Michaels, A Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, an average guy who spends a lifetime sacrificing his own ambitions for the sake of others—continually setting aside his own dreams to keep his late father’s building and loan business afloat.
When a greedy banker manufactures a scandal that threatens to send him to jail, George is crushed and contemplates suicide. Sent to help him in his hour of need, a guardian angel reveals to him how different the world and everyone else whose life he has touched would be had he never been born. An uplifting chronicle of the extraordinary lives of ordinary folk, A Wonderful Life exhilarates the mind and heart as it celebrates the innate goodness in us all.
In transporting director Frank Capra’s 1946 film of It’s a Wonderful Life from screen to stage, Sheldon Harnick didn’t try to duplicate the movie scene for scene. Instead, he and composer Joe Raposo went their own way, following the general story of the Christmas classic but giving themselves room for the songs they wanted to include in retelling the story. In doing this, they put a different twist on the story, with the help of a little borrowing from Carousel.
They begin their tale in heaven, and they relate George Bailey’s life history in flashback as Clarence, the Angel Second Class assigned to George’s case, learns from his white-haired superior Joseph the circumstances that led up to George’s dilemma.
Playwright Harnick and composer Raposo worked for many years to put together a musical version of It’s a Wonderful Life, but just as the musical’s book was completed, a controversy arose over the rights to the underlying Stern story, “The Greatest Gift,” that delayed production of the show. During this delay, Raposo died of cancer in 1989. A Wonderful Life was performed for the first time at the University of Michigan in 1986, followed by a staged reading at Paper Mill Playhouse in 1990. It had a successful run at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage in 1991. Since then, there have been numerous revivals nationwide including a 2005 staged concert version in New York City.
Single tickets are $69.30 (plus tax) for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening as well as Saturday and Sunday matinee performances. All tickets include an elegant dinner and a professional performance. The Armory Box Office staff is available in person at (608) 741-7400 or toll free at (866) 995-7400. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.JanesvilleArmory.com.
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