Live radio production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on stage at Pemberville Opera House

From left, Kent McClary, Dale David, and Ken Finley.

From THE PEMBERVILLE-FREEDOM AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The Live In The House Concert series presents a live radio play version of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 3 at  2 p.m. in the historic Pemberville Opera House

While we don’t have Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, we do have the Vintage Radio Players ready to take the stage, complete with a soundman and his ‘applause’ and ‘on the air’ signs to present The Lux Theatre radio version of the favorite Christmas movies  The show will include a few vintage commercials.

The Vintage Radio Players, directed by Janet McClary, will perform “It’s a Wonderful Life” using the original Lux Radio Script that was broadcast in 1947, with live music and sound effects.  This show will be recorded, therefore, audience participation will be appreciated, and it will be broadcast at a later date on WBGU-FM  88.1.

From left, Kent McClary, Jane Milbrodt, Peggy Keyes, Jim Meyer, Jenny Finley, Dale David, Ken Finley, and Robert Hubbard.

Tickets are $12 from Beeker’s General Store, at the door or by  contacting Carol Bailey at 419-287-4848, carol@pembervilleoperahouse.org, or   www.pembervilleoperahouse.org.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a 1946 American Christmas film produced and directed by Frank Capra.

The original story “The Greatest Gift” was written Philip Van Doren Stern in November 1939. After being unsuccessful in getting the story published, Stern decided to make it into a Christmas card, and mailed 200 copies to family and friends in December 1943. The story came to the attention of RKO producer David Hempstead, who showed it to Cary Grant’s Hollywood agent, and in April 1944, RKO Pictures bought the rights to the story for $10,000, hoping to turn the story into a vehicle for Grant.  After several screenwriters worked on adaptations, RKO sold the rights to the story in 1945 to Frank Capra’s production company for the same $10,000, which he adapted into “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Lux Radio Theatre a long-run classic radio anthology series.  Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. The series became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s. The primary sponsor of the show was Unilever through its Lux Soap brand.

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