Actors' Fund's A Wonderful Life Concert — with Brian Stokes Mitchell — Presented Dec. 12

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12 Dec 2005

Brian Stokes Mitchell in rehearsal for <I>A Wonderful Life</I>.
Brian Stokes Mitchell in rehearsal for A Wonderful Life.
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell stars as George Bailey — the role created on screen by Jimmy Stewart — in the Actors' Fund of America's Dec. 12 benefit concert of A Wonderful Life.

The 7 PM concert at the Shubert Theatre also features the talents of David Hyde Pierce as Clarence the angel, Judy Kuhn as Mary Bailey, Dominic Chianese as Mr. Potter, Karen Ziemba as the MC, Philip Bosco as Joseph, Marian Seldes as Mrs. Hatch, Ronn Carroll as Tom Bailey, Marc Kudisch as Sam Wainwright, Michael Berresse as Harry Bailey, Nancy Anderson as Violet, Chuck Cooper as Uncle Billy, Phylicia Rashad as Millie Bailey, George S. Irving as Mr. Martini and Jane Houdyshell as Mrs. Martini.

The ensemble of the musical comprises Tolan Aman, Leslie Anderson, Meredith Akins, Nili Bassman, Beth Blankenship, Harry Bouvy, Ryan Dietz, Barb Folts, Jenifer Foote, Todd Alan Johnson, Cecily Kate, Ian Knauer, Marcy McGuigan, Kelli Maguire, David McKeown, Bill Nolte, Bret Shuford, Matthew Shepard, Stacey Sipowicz, Todd Michel Smith, Danny Vaccaro, John Wasiniak, Christopher Windom and Betsy Wolfe.

Based on the famed Frank Capra film "It's a Wonderful Life," A Wonderful Life features book and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by the late Joe Raposo with additional music by Harnick and Jerry Depuit. Like the motion picture, the musical concerns the life of Bedford Falls resident George Bailey as he learns how those around him would be affected had he never existed.

The concert features orchestrations by Michael Starobin, choral arrangements by Raposo, Harnick and Jeffrey Saver and dance music arranged by Saver, who is also the show's musical supervisor. Carl Andress directs the one-night-only event with choreography by Denis Jones and musical direction by Lawrence Yurman.



A Wonderful Life was first presented at the University of Michigan in 1986. The 1946 film, "It's a Wonderful Life," was directed by Frank Capra and starred James Stewart as George Bailey with Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Frank Albertson, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, Mary Treen and Virginia Patton. The movie received five Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.

The Actors' Fund of America, a nonprofit organization founded in 1882, provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals. Its headquarters and The Aurora Residence are located in New York City, and its nursing home and assisted living care facility are in Englewood, New Jersey. For more information, go to www.actorsfund.org.

The Shubert Theatre is located in Manhattan at 225 West 44th Street. For tickets, priced $75-$1,000, call (212) 221-7300, ext. 133. Visit www.actorsfund.org for more information.