This Wonderful Life – Capital Rep Shines With A Christmas Classic
If you're looking to get in the holiday spirit, gather up the family and head to Capital Rep in Albany. The Christmas Classic 'It's A Wonderful Life' has been transformed into a 70 minute one-man play.
Who is this talented person who brings to life all the iconic figures of Bedford Falls? We took a moment to have a conversation with the man who plays all the parts in Capital Rep's 'This Wonderful Life,' running through December 22, 2012.
What are the positives to being the only actor in a play?
I've been lucky enough to have appeared in a lot of shows with many truly outstanding actors. However, I've also worked with a few actors who are never completely secure with their lines. It's a bit unnerving to perform a scene with an actor when you never know what words are going to come out of his or her mouth. The advantage of doing a one person show is that you never need to worry about depending upon another actor to feed you the correct cues.
What are the negatives to being the only actor in a play?
If you lose your place or forget a line there is no one on stage to help you find your way back to the right place in the show. It's like walking a tightrope without a net; no one is going to catch you if you fall. There is also the concern that the audience will get tired of seeing and hearing just one person on stage; you need to find ways to hold their interest so their minds stay focused on the story.
What do you think people will take away from this show?
The power of redemption. Much like the character of Scrooge in Dickens' A Christmas Carol, George Bailey's eyes are opened by a heavenly visitor who shows him the error of his ways. In George's case, he is able to see how his life has had a positive effect on the lives of everyone in the town of Bedford Falls. He learns to be thankful for what he has instead of focusing only on what he lacks.
For those that are fans of the movie, why should they see this version of the already well-known story?
This show uses a narrator to summarize plot points and simultaneously point out themes that are inherent in the film but may not be evident until they are brought to light by the narrator. It's almost as if you are watching the "Special Features" on a DVD where you can listen to the Director's comments while simultaneously watching the film.
Out of all the shows you have ever appeared in your career, which has been your favorite and why?
Until this year I've always thought it was the role of Mr. Applegate in the musical Damn Yankees. That character (the devil) is not a human being so an actor has free reign to be as broad or subtle with his interpretation as he wishes. However, earlier this year I had a chance to play the dual role of Cervantes/Don Quixote in the musical Man of La Mancha. I tried to emphasize the difference between Cervantes, who is a bit of a bookish intellectual, versus his avatar Don Quixote, who is confident and heroic in all his actions, even those which are ill conceived. Being allowed the opportunity to say those great words and sing those great songs every night was both a privilege and pleasure.