Carousel Theatre Company

It's a Wonderful Life: A Musical

Based on the Frank Capra Film and the original story by Philip Van Doren Stern; Book, Music and Lyrics by Thomas M. Sharkey Original Piano Arrangements by Jack Sharkey Orchestral and Vocal Arrangements by David J. Blackburn

Director: Chris McGregor Set design: Yvan Morissette with Bryan Pollock Lighting design: Itai Erdal Costume design: Carol Smith Musical director: Wendy Bross Stuart Choreography: Tara Cheyenne Properties design: Chris McGregor Sound design: Marc Stewart Piano: Wendy Stuart Stage manager: Connie Beel

Venue: The Waterfront Theatre, 442 Cartwright Street, Granville Island
Dates: 6 December 2002 - 3 January 2003

Reviewer: Jane Penistan

It's a Wonderful Life is the third musical to open in Vancouver in the last few weeks and is a wonderfully happy production, designed by Yvan Morissette. Directed by Chris McGregor this romantic musical is set in the small town of Bedford Falls. The backdrop is a street in the town, dominated on stage right by a water tower and on the left by a large elevated bridge. Downstage right are a house front and a short wall which recedes and reappears as occasion demands. Itai Erdal's lighting illuminates or darkens the scene skillfully, always drawing attention to the relevant portion of the set.

This is a traditional musical with good and evil characters warring for success and a couple who suffer the course of true love which "never did run smooth." All ends happily by the intervention of a superhuman, in this case, a two centuries old angel trying to earn his wings as a guardian angel.

Clarence Oddbody (Tom Pickett), first appears in late-eighteenth century dress high on the bridge, where he holds conversations with the disembodied voice of a townsman of Bedford Falls, as he considers the scene below him. The villain of the piece is the curmudgeonly, greedy Henry Potter, (Timothy E. Brummund), assisted by his ghoulish servant, played by the talented Jeff Gladstone, who is also a guitar player, percussionist and no mean dancer.

The hero and "good guy" (Peter Jorgensen) ultimately defeats the evil wiles of Henry Potter, gets the delightful girl, Mary, (Heather Redmond) and leaves us all with renewed faith in the compassion and endurance of the human spirit. Eli Boretsky and Rachel Koffman are the children of succeeding families and part of the spirited dancing ensemble. Nancy Bell, Patrick Lambier, Nicole LeVasseur, Debbie Love, Parnelli Parnes and Malcolm Scott perform multiple roles and with the other cast members, are part of the lively singing and dancing.
The pianist throughout and the musical director is Wendy Stuart.

Here is delicious Christmas entertainment for the whole family. Remember it's a wonderful life. Enjoy!

It's a Wonderful Life runs at The Waterfront Theatre, 442 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, 6 December - 5 January Thursday-Saturday 20.00; Saturday-Sunday 26-27 December and 2-3 January 14.00. Tickets: Carousel Theatre Box Office: 604.685.6217 or Ticketmaster 604.280.4444, $24/$22 Students/Seniors $17 Under 18 $12 Groups of 10+: The Group Ticket Centre: 604.709.4122 $11-$20

2002, Jane Penistan