It's A Wonderful Life to Open A Big Bag of Feels at Erie Playhouse
The musical will set the mood for the season of giving
PREMIERES FRIDAY, DEC. 1
We have all felt the strain of life, often amplified during the holidays. The demands of a boss, a spouse, children, and feeling the ever increasing weight of societal pressure to be something, anything, worth remembering — and never knowing how to actually reach those goals. Whether we admit it or not, we've all looked back on our lives and wondered if we are doing or have done enough. Have we reached our full potential? Will we leave a mark in this world? Have we loved enough? Learned enough? Taught enough? Who will benefit from what we have accomplished after we are gone?
These questions and more are analyzed in the musical adaptation of It's A Wonderful Life in its return to the LECOM stage. Ryan Ingram, this outfit's director, has been with The Erie Playhouse since 2015 and has been involved in over 70 shows with them — this will be his fourth directorial role. Of the play itself he says, "The journey that our leading man, George Bailey, takes, echoes the stories of so many of us enduring the challenges of our current world. We see a young man with big dreams spiral into a state of despair as life turns out differently than he expected. Only a heavenly intervention can save him." He continues, "Ultimately it's about finding hope even in what appears to be a hopeless situation." A theme we can all relate to.
Ingram hopes that the audience will walk away from these performances feeling that they can make a difference. "George gets a chance to see that being a kind and generous person has had a huge impact on his family, community, and even strangers. Perhaps our friends in the audience will applaud themselves, along with our cast members, for the times when they made choices that uplifted others, but also challenge themselves to find more opportunities to be more like George, who daily demonstrates his love for mankind."
Ingram is also excited by the vocal rehearsals that are being led by the talented Devon Yates. "This cast is a vocal powerhouse. The solos and small group numbers have been so lovely and the full cast numbers have blown me away." Excited as always for the musical aspects, Ingram is also excited about the dance numbers. He continues, "It has me grinning from ear to ear what Melissa Dixon is doing with our choreography. Every number is thrilling, but the 1920s dance style competition is my favorite. Very excited for the audience to experience it."
None of this would be possible without an experienced team behind the scenes and in the pit. "We are so lucky to have Abby McCauley leading our great stage crew; the brilliant Bruce Yates will be directing our talented and stunning orchestra; and Nico Lombardo is pulling triple duty in scenic design, assistant director, and dance ensemble. We are so thankful for the hard work they do to make this possible."
Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. // Erie Playhouse, 13 W. 10th St. // Tickets on sale Nov. 7 // More info: erieplayhouse.org