It's a Wonderful Life (2011)

By Joe Landry
June 1 2011

Date Time
Wednesday June 1 12:00 am
No Information Provided

Happy Holidays from Bedford Falls

The days are long gone when families gathered around the radio after dinner to listen to their favorite program, and couples took a night out to go dancing to their favorite big band.  Today, we have a very singular experience when it comes to the radio or listening to music.  We listen alone in our cars, connect to our MP3 players and shut out the world.  We can even watch a movie, not in a theatre, but on a screen that we can hold in the palms of our hands. 

Chances are you have seen Frank Capra’s 1946 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life” in your own lifetime.  But chances are also that, in this era of smart phones and mp3 players, you have never experienced it quite like this.  In the format of a live radio play, you have the opportunity to see the joy and laughter around you, from other audience members as well as with the actors at the microphones.  Here, you have the ability to sing along with a familiar carol if you want to and grab some milk and cookies on your way out of the theatre.  The unique experience of the live theatre, combined with a familiar tale, we hope takes you back to a time when people experienced art, music and story collectively. 

This beautiful story is, on the outside, representative of the typical American hero who overcomes adversity with a new zest for life--on Christmas Eve, no less.  It also holds a large dose of nostalgia for most of us. But the themes in this story reach far beyond that to the world we live in today.  The issues of greed, despair and loneliness that plague the main character of George Bailey, also plague so many people and their families in the midst of the current financial crisis.  And that finding your way in the middle of so much despair can be a very distant light at the end of a tunnel very difficult to see.

In bringing this experience to you, I want you to be able to feel comfortable sharing your emotions with those around you.  Embrace the nostalgia as we take you through one of the most beloved holiday stories from the last 65 years.  But also take a moment to think about what it all really means for George Bailey, and for you: that every one of us is important to someone, and that we have all affected others in a way that may never be recognized.   But most importantly, sit back and take the ride.  We’ll be right there with you.


— Kate Berry, director

Who’s Who in the Cast

Caroline Barry (Understudy)

Caroline Barry is a Junior at the University of Colorado and is currently pursuing a BFA degree in Performance. She has recently performed as Marla in 14 and Alice in You Can't Take it With You for which she was honored to receive an Irene Ryan Acting nomination.

Bob Buckley (Announcer/Assorted Characters)

A member of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Resident Acting Company; twice portraying “Ebenezer Scrooge” in CSF productions of A Christmas Carol, and listing “Julius Caesar”, “The Earl of Gloucester”, and “Baptista Minola,” among his roles with the Festival. Most recently in the Shakespeare Oratorio Society’s reading of “A Winter’s Tale,” Bob played “Gaston” in An Empty Plate in the Café´du Grand Boeuf for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company where he is also an Ensemble Member.

Graham Emmons (Understudy)

Graham is graduating with a BFA degree at CU and is thrilled to be a part of this CSF production! Recent CU roles include Paul Sycamore in You Cant Take it with You, Senor Ottavio in The Ingenious Chambermaid and Sir Jaspar Fidget in The Country Wife. He has also performed locally with Colorado Repertory Theatre as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz and Officer Mackruskeen in The Third Policeman in the Boulder Fringe Festival.

Bobby Labartino (George Bailey, Young George)

A recent graduate of the University of Houston's graduate actor program,  Bobby is absolutely thrilled to be a part of It's a Wonderful Life here at CSF  Regional credits include John Seavering in The Violet Hour (7 Stages), Max in Dial M for Murder (Aurora Theater), and Jeff in The Story (Theatre  in the Square).Bobby has also spent three years at 790 The Zone in Atlanta as a sports talk radio host, and got his Bachelors degree from the University of South Carolina-Aiken.  Bobby would like to thank his amazing parents for their unwavering support.  Love you Kim.

Jamie Ann Romero (Violet, Young Violet, Matilda, Ruth, Mrs. Hatch, Mrs. Thompson, Janie, Zuzu)

Jamie is excited to return for her third holiday show with CSF having previously been seen in CHRISTMAS CAROL.  She has been a member of the resident acting company for five seasons and was seen most recently as Juliet in last summer's Romeo & Juliet, Marya in The Inspector General, and in The Comedy Of Errors.  Other CSF credits include; Around The World In 80 DaysHamlet,King LearOur TownTaming Of The Shrew, and Macbeth.

Kyle Steffen (Foley Artist)

Kyle Dean Steffen is excited for his debut with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.  Other Regional credits in include the Arvada Center's Of Mice and MenThe House of Blue Leaves and DEFIANCE.  CS Fine Art Center's A Christmas Carol.  Other favorite include Henry V, Richard III and The Lover.  BFA:  University of Northern Colorado, Musical Theatre.  MFA:  University of Houston, Acting

Crystal Verdon (Mary Hatch, Young Mary, Rose Bailey)

Crystal just completed a tour of Twelfth Night to over 35 local schools as part of an anti-bullying program with CSF. Recent favorites include: An Empty Plate in the Cafe Du Grand Boeuf (BETC), Angels in America (Vintage Theatre -- Marlowe Award / Best Supporting Actress), Cinderella (Denver Children's Theatre -- Henry Award / Best Children's Theatre). By day, she has been a Teaching Artist for over a decade. 

Jake Walker (Assorted Characters) 

Mr. Walker is honored to be returning to CSF for his 5th production! Last winter he appeared in A Christmas Carol and then in The Little PrinceThe Inspector General and The Comedy of Errors. Jake also worked with Phillip Sneed at the Arvada Center in The Lion in Winter. Over the summer he received the Henry Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Paragon Theater's, The Pride

A Bit about the Adaptor

JOE LANDRY (Playwright) At age 12, Joe's first job was in the film department at the library in his hometown of Fairfield, CT. This was before the dawn of home video, back in the days of 16mm, and their permanent collection included It's a Wonderful Life, The Lady Vanishes and other early Hitchcock films. Joe's other main interest was the theatre. Encouraged by his parents, Joe was introduced to various theatres which he came to call home, including Playwrights Horizons and Roundabout Theatre Company in New York, Westport Country Playhouse and others. In 1995, Joe founded Second Guess Theatre Company, which produced over two dozen new plays, adaptations and revivals to critical-acclaim. In 1997, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play premiered in Stamford, CT and has since enjoyed productions around the country. Joe's other plays include Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Playand an adaptation of the cult classic Reefer Madness. Other projects include Mothers and Sons, a musical co-written with Kevin Connors.