On the Air: L-R, Steve Lewis, Brigid Douglass, Patrick Hall, Jordan Merrill (hidden), Jessi Griffin, Dezarea Brown, Keith Galligan, Jacob Clark.
By Pat Jewell
Tater Patch Players
It’s Christmas Eve, 1945, in Bedford Falls, New York.
Uncle Billy has lost an $8,000 deposit at Henry Potter’s bank. The deposit was for The Bailey Building and Loan. George Bailey runs the Building and Loan and is devastated by the loss. He goes to Mr. Potter for a loan, but is not only is he declined, he is reported to the authorities for mismanagement of customers’ funds. In an
uncharacteristic panic, George yells at his family, gets drunk, and walks to the bridge to jump in the frigid river and drown himself. Angel 2nd Class Clarence Odbody is watching, and, charged with the task of keeping George alive, jumps into the freezing river. George jumps in to save Clarence, not knowing that he is already dead.
From here, the story gets better. George tells Clarence he wished he had never been born. Clarence is still trying to get his wings so he has to be fast on his feet. He knows what George has done for Bedford Falls and his friends and family. He thinks the depressed man won’t want to hear about how he saved his brother, Harry’s life or how he prevented Mr. Gower from accidently killing a patient with poison while he is overcome with grief. George already knows he used his honeymoon money to prevent a run on the Building and Loan. Clarence thinks of the time George gave the tuition money he saved to his brother for college and gave up his own dreams to keep the family business running. He thinks of Bailey Park and the comfortable affordable homes George helped to build and finance for the middle class families. He also married his high school sweetheart and had four great children.
Clarence decides mentioning these things would only make George more depressed. The answer, he felt, was to show George what Bedford Falls would be like if he had never been born. The pair embark on a journey that is dark and dangerous. George finds that Harry drowned in icy water, Mr. Gower was in prison for murder. Bedford Falls is renamed Pottersville. The town was corrupt, people unemployed and rowdy bars were everywhere. George is shocked when he learns that Uncle Billy went crazy after a stock market crash and his mom’s house is now a boarding house. Even his wife, Mary, didn’t know him.
Of course, George runs back to the bridge to beg for another chance and of course, Clarence is ok with it. The warm fuzzy feeling comes when George returns home to find his family worried and waiting. A party follows with friends and family giving George money to cover the $8,000.
So the bell rang and Clarence got his wings. Come and see George on his incredible journey as he learn that no one is poor that has friends.
As an added Christmas bonus for our patrons, all ticket holders may enter in a drawing during It's A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play on the Stage. Weeks Jewelry, Coco's Cottage and Shadow Creek Antiques and Artisans are each donating a prize. There will be a sign-up slip for each patron at the door to enter to win one of these three gifts, each worth $100. All are guaranteed to delight you or someone you'd like to surprise this Christmas season. The drawing will be at intermission on the final performance, December 13. One entry per ticket holder, age 18 and up. Additionally, the Pickens Progress is part of this show's sponsorship. Come see the show and hear the witty jingles written for our sponsors during the "broadcast". The songs are written and performed by Leslie Miller, Joy Huddlestun, Jan Simpson and Carlene Archer --- now know as The Jingle Belles.
Tater Patch will be collecting toys for Toys for Tots and for the Lions' Fill a Stocking drive during the course of the show. These two wonderful groups collect new toys, not gift-wrapped, to help bring Christmas joy to needy kids in our community. The show opens November 27, "Black Friday". Whether you've just come home from that pre-dawn shopping trip or need something fun for your post-turkey-fest family and guests to do, come to the theater! The show dates are November 27, 28, 29 and December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13. Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. and the rest are at 7:30 p.m. at the Tater Patch Players theater at 95 Philadelphia Lane, off Old Philadelphia Road near Wal-Mart.