Black-and-white adaptation of 'It's a Wonderful Life' on stage - Nov. 15-23

Black-and-white adaptation of 'It's a Wonderful Life' on stage - Nov. 15-23

November 14th, 2013 by Clint Cooper in Chattnow Art

Among the actors in "It's a Wonderful Life" are, from left, Mary Suggs, Jason Worley, Bobby Daniels and Jo Schendel.

IF YOU GO

* What: "It's a Wonderful Life."

* When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 15-16, Nov. 22; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23.

* Where: Catoosa County Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, Ga.

* Admission: $11 adults, $9 students/seniors, $8 groups.

* Phone: 706-935-9000.

* Website: Colonnade-Center.org.

Practically everybody's had their George Bailey moments, when all the news is bad, when there's no light at the end of the tunnel, when everything looks dark.

That's literally the way it will look in Ever After Productions' "It's a Wonderful Life," a stage version of the 1946 movie that opens at the Colonnade on Friday, Nov. 15, and continues through next weekend.

"We decided to do the entire show in black and white," says director Jonathan Humble, "until the final scene when we introduce color. ... We really wanted to focus on the heart of the story."

The story, known to probably everyone who has watched television in the last 50 years, tells of Bailey, the banker from tiny Bedford Falls, whose dreams of escape and adventure are quashed by family obligation, civic duty and threat of ruin.

And no caution of "spoiler alert" is necessary to know the put-upon banker, whose guardian angel saves him from Christmas Eve despair and shows what the world would be without him, returns to his home and a happy ending.

Humble says the story celebrates the faith of the season but also the long-held American philosophy of life that hard work, fair play and the love and support of one's family and community will be rewarded.

"As Americans," he says, "we never quite want to let go of the nostalgic way of the past, and I don't think we should. [The play] reminds us of the ideals and founding principles that started our nation and grew it."

Bailey is portrayed by Jason Worley in the 30-member, all-ages cast.

"He completely has immersed himself into the character and the role," Humble says. "I no longer see Jason, I see George. Most of the time now, I even call him George."

Humble says the black-and-white-to-color adaptation, which involves lighting, costumes and set pieces, allows the magic of Christmas to explode through in the final scene "when everything's joyful and happy."

"That's what Christmas and life are all about," he says.

Contact Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.