Take a holiday trip back to the 1940’s with the Missoula Community Theatre during It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Dec. 10-20. In the old days, families would sit around the radio to ‘listen’ to a show. This December, you can gather with your families around a computer or television to ‘watch’ Bedford Falls come to life, as this show will be presented exclusively as a streamed performance. The only in-person seating will be in the comfy living rooms of the audience!
Few stories tug at the holiday heartstrings as universally as It’s a Wonderful Life, which is one of the reasons MCT chose to present it, says director Joseph Martinez. “It is a reminder of the values of basic goodness and sacrifice, the gift of friendship, and the sense of community.” The beloved story of George Bailey’s magical Christmas Eve, discovering the ripple effect of one person’s life on his community, and how his community came through for him, may resonate even more vividly with Missoulians this year. It certainly does for the Missoula Community Theatre, which had to cancel its planned 50th anniversary season. Yet, MCT is finding encouragement and support from the community to provide innovative selections which may be enjoyed while complying with safety protocols and still maintain the artistic excellence for which MCT is known.
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play inspires us to remember the power of kindness and redemption. A talented ensemble cast of six Missoula actors masterfully brings to life every character, and every sound effect, promising to captivate you and wrap you in the holiday spirit by this story in a way you might never have experienced.
Martinez says that because the show is a live radio play, rehearsals by Zoom have worked very well. “It’s thrilling to watch the 6 actors bring each character to life as they approach the microphone and become the entire community of Bedford Falls. They are making incredibly interesting choices.” Playing the roles of George and Mary Bailey are real-life couple and professional actors Brad Rupp and Alissa Tucker, who recently moved back to Missoula. Alissa’s love for the stage began with her experiences with the Missoula Community Theatre, playing Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie, among other roles. You can also see her in Christmas on the Square, the new Dolly Parton movie on Netflix.