Justin Guarini, Garth Kravits, Lauren Molina, Jill Paice, Kevin Pariseau Cast in Bucks County's It's a Wonderful Life
By Michael Gioia
Justin Guarini, Garth Kravits, Lauren Molina, Jill Paice and Kevin Pariseau will star in Bucks County Playhouse's It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry, the company's third 2012 production since being renovated and reopened as a nonprofit resident Equity theatre.
BCP, once a star-filled popular summer stock theatre in New Hope, PA, is now under the leadership of Broadway producer Jed Bernstein (Driving Miss Daisy). The company's holiday production of It's a Wonderful Life is scheduled for a Dec. 13-30 run.
Directed by Gordon Greenberg (Stars of David, Working), choreographed by Lorin Latarro, and inspired by the classic American film of the same name, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast in front of a "studio audience." According to BCP notes, "This beloved American holiday classic, that tells the story of idealistic George Bailey as he considers his demise one fateful Christmas Eve, comes to captivating life with the help of an ensemble that brings over two dozen characters to the stage. It premiered in 1996 and has since been produced countless times around the country to critical acclaim."
"American Idol" finalist Guarini (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, American Idiot) will play Jake with Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone) as Harry/Jazzbo, Molina (Marry Me a Little, Rock of Ages, Sweeney Todd) as Lana, Paice (Curtains, The 39 Steps) as Sally and Pariseau (Legally Blonde) as Freddie. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Director Greenberg staged producer Bernstein's revised revival of Working in regional theatres in recent years.
Bucks County Playhouse is at 70 South Main Street. For more about BCP, visit bcptheater.org.
Located 90 minutes from New York City, the Bucks County Playhouse opened in 1939 on the site of a grist mill dating from the late 18th century. The structure was at that time in danger of demolition, but playwright Moss Hart and the local community rallied to save the building and re-opened it as a theatrical venue, which quickly became one of the country's most famous regional theatres. It remained in continuous operation (under a number of operators) until December 2010. Bridge Street Foundation, the non-profit family foundation of Kevin and Sherri Daugherty with Tanya Cooper as president, reopened the venue on July 2, 2012, exactly 73 years and day from when it originally opened in 1939. The Rodgers & Hammerstein revue A Grand Night for Singing launched the 2012 season.
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