Classic holiday film comes to life onstage

By |2007-12-06T09:00:00-05:00December 6th, 2007|Entertainment|

“Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings,” says Zuzu Bailey (Emily Bevard of Royal Oak) in Stagecrafters Youth Theatre’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The story has become a holiday favorite and will hit the stage Dec. 7-16 at the Baldwin Theatre in downtown Royal Oak.
All of the characters from the famous 1946 Frank Capra film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” will come alive on the Baldwin Theatre stage with a delightful twist. The story is performed by Stagecrafters Youth Theatre members, ages 8-18. The story takes place in the fictional city of Bedford Falls after World War II where a distraught George Bailey (Mackey Daniel of Southfield) considers ending his life on Christmas Eve.
His desperate action gets the attention of angel-wanting-wings Clara Odbody (Anna Marck of Royal Oak), who is trying hard to prove to George that he should live despite the setbacks and disappointment. Clara highlights his life and shows how he touched the lives of so many people and the difference he made in his community. You’ll meet the young George (Jarod Clark of Royal Oak), who saves Mr. Gower (Enzo Walter of Troy) from a tragic mistake.
Mary Bailey (Maria Ochoa of Clawson) is George’s model wife, and Mother Bailey (Erinn Gustafson of Lake Orion), Uncle Billy (Mitch Aiello of Troy), and Violet Bick (Aubrey Thompson of Royal Oak) are around for support. Thorns in George’s side are Scrooge-like scoundrel Mr. Potter (Richard Ditri of Royal Oak) and Potter’s sneaky assistant (Shelby Maurice of Royal Oak).
“The script was actually adapted directly from the movie and was written for a high school to perform, so it’s perfectly suited for our youth theater,” said co-director Linda Zublick of Royal Oak in a statement. “The script is true to the dialogue of the movie with some minor variations… some of the male character lines in the movie are given to female actors in the stage production. Other than some minor adjustments, if you are familiar with the movie and love it, you’ll love this production.”
The script, based on the movie, was dramatized by James W. Rodgers. Zublick and her co-director and husband, David Zublick, chose to direct the show because of their affection for the movie. “We both love this movie and it has been a family tradition for years to watch it on Christmas Eve. George Bailey is such a timeless character that we really needed to bring this story to the Baldwin stage and David and I had to be a part of the show,” Zublick said.
Both directors were excited that the show was being performed by youths. “It’s the perfect family production. Kids will appreciate seeing their peers portraying the characters in this show, and the adults will enjoy seeing a timeless classic brought to life by Stagecrafters Youth Theatre,” said David Zublick in a statement.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
Dec. 7-16
$6 for children and $9 for adults
Baldwin Theatre
415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.