Terry Delegrane (from left), Darryl Maximilian Robinson and Ben Lupejkis in the Kentwood Players’ production of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Terry Delegrane (from left), Darryl Maximilian Robinson and Ben Lupejkis in the Kentwood Players’ production of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

By Michael Aushenker
It’s Christmas Eve, 1946, inside Studio A at WBFR in Manhattan, and a very special radio broadcast is about to air that will warm hearts for generations.
Now 67 years later, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey’s doozey of a lesson in appreciation, comes to the Westchester Playhouse in the form of a live-action radio play staged by the Kentwood Players.
Philip Van Doren Stern’s story, popularized by the oft-aired 1946 Frank Capra classic film starring Jimmy Stewart, tells the tale of suicidal George Bailey, a banker at Bailey Building and Loan intending to end it all one fateful Christmas Eve when he receives the ultimate intervention in the form of guardian angel Clarence Odbody. Odbody arrives to take the banker on a Dickensian journey through his alternate Christmas past and present to see how those around him would be affected had Bailey never been born.
With a sprawling cast that includes Freddie Filmore, Dave Parke, Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood, Darryl Maximilian Robinson, Hope Merriwether and Vada Foster, the Kentwood Players promise to bring this holiday chestnut to life with a new wrinkle via their old-fashioned radio-program conceit.
Westchester Playhouse is offering a “Kentwood Kares” holiday discount of $2 off regular ticket prices sold at the box office to those who bring in a new or slightly used coat or jacket for the homeless at the Los Angeles Mission. So if you hear a bell ring after you donate that coat, that angel earning its wings might be you!
“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” produced by Vada Foster and Alison Mattiza and directed by Gypsy Foster, runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. $18. (310) 645-5156
Michael@argonautnews.com

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