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One of the more interesting holiday evenings you can spend this year would be watching (and listening) to "It's A Wonderful Life - The Radio Play." The production will be held on Saturday, December 15th, at Deutsches Haus in Metairie.
Radio is alive, well, and exciting in the Internet Age! Podcasts, webcasts, and live-streams bring is right back to the 1930s and 1940s, where using hearing as the primary sense went far beyond simply listening to music. My daddy would always talk about the radio shows he listened to as a boy, how he'd close his eyes and visualize the scenes as they happened. Sometimes our own mental cinematography is better than anything Acamedy Award-winning directors can bring us. In our updated world of radio, not only do you get to experience what my daddy did, you can do it on your own schedule.
There's one more level of listening to a radio show--actually viewing the production while it's being broadcast or recorded. During the "golden age" of radio, most productions were in-studio affairs, with no live audience. Comedy shows in particular began to be produced in front of live audiences, since canned "laugh-track" laughter just doesn't sound natural. Live-audience performances carried on to this day, with many television shows opening up the studio.
"It's A Wonderful Life" is a Christmas icon, thanks mostly to the movie version starring Jimmy Stewart. New Orleanians will get a special treat on December 15th, as the New Orleans Voice Talent Foundation presents the drama, adapted for radio. This is the fourth production of the play. This version is written by Los Angeles writer Tony Palermo with musical score by Jonathan Green, both of whom donate the use of their works for this annual production at no charge to support the New Orleans community and the region.
Bill Lee stars as George Bailey (the Jimmy Stewart role) in the play, which is produced/directed by the New Orleans Voice Talent Foundation's Executive Director, Stephen James. Deutsches Haus, located off Airline Drive, Metairie, just a quarter-mile east of Causeway Boulevard, near the Hurwitz Mintz furniture store and just five minutes from the Tulane/Carrolton intersection with Airline Hwy in Mid-City.
Can't make it to the prodution? WGSO Radio (AM 990) will broadcast the show live, as well as stream it on the Internet.