I've always had a thing for George Bailey.
I don't know if it's because of his vulnerability, his naivety or his ultimate ability to overcome hardship, but I've always adored him.
Double Platinum says I love It's a Wonderful Life because I am a very "capra-esque" kind of gal - you know, glass half full, overly positive, blah blah blah.
I got my annual fix of IAWL by attending a unique performance put on by the Falcon Theatre in Newport.
The show is "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Drama" is a clever turn on an old story. It features a cast that portrays live radio in its heyday. The show includes jingle singers, sound effect masters and of course a list of actors pulling double and triple duty where the character voices are concerned.
Michael Potter played George Bailey (the irony of his last name was not lost on me), and his delivery definitely captured inflections and expressions reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart. He did a fine job portraying G.B., but I felt like he was more trying to assume Stewart's ghost instead of making the role his own.
In my opinion, Peter Weiglin and Jim Waldfogle stole the show. These distinguished gentlemen took on no less than seven characters a piece, demonstrating a remarkable command of voice, tone and dialect (and now I'm delving into my college linguistics classes). They transitioned flawlessly from grumbling and gravely characters to insecure, hesitant personas.
The entire cast was spectacular, and though the show intended to portray a live radio broadcast, I was enthralled by watching the amazing work done at the sound effect table and the subtle back stories woven between the characters.
I highly suggest you take a trip to Newport's Falcon Theatre (inside Monmouth Theatre on Monmouth) to see the show - it runs this Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.