After presenting It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play for nearly 20 years in Cranford and Maplewood, The Theater Project will present its annual holiday production in Union for the first time – thanks to the hospitality of Unity Bank. The show will be performed in the bank’s Stuyvesant Avenue branch, with the support of Union’s Downtown Improvement District, and a Union County HEART grant.
The Theater Project will recreate the Lux Radio Theater circa 1947 as twelve actors, a musician, and one extremely overworked sound technician prepare for the big radio broadcast of the story made famous in the Frank Capra film of the same name. A pre-show sing-along begins at 1:45 p.m. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is also provided.
The cast is led by Maplewood resident Rick Delaney as George Bailey. In addition to Delaney's appearances in New York theatre and television, his resume includes roles in most of New Jersey’s small professional theatres, including The Theater Project. He received great acclaim at the Bickford Theatre playing John Barrymore’s ghost in I Hate Hamlt.
The film It's a Wonderful Life was not well received when it premiered in theaters not long after World War II, but it became a holiday classic thanks to television and The Late Late Show.
“This story about the value of friendship and the importance of small acts of kindness seems to become more and more popular every year,” says Mark Spina, Artistic Director of The Theater Project. “For many of our patrons, kicking off their holidays with this show has become an annual ritual. This time, we’re hoping to meet some new people from Union and at the same time, introduce our “regulars” to the great shops and restaurants in the downtown shopping district.” Sunday theater-goers will have just enough time after the show to grab a bite to eat or get a cup of coffee, and still be on time for Union’s 5 p.m. Tree Lighting ceremony just a few blocks away.
Kids tickets are $10, Adults are $20. Tickets and further information are available at TheTheaterProject.org.
Performances are at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, and Sunday, December 6 at Unity Bank, 952 952 Stuyvesant Avenue, in Union.