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It’s a live radio play. “It’s a Wonderful Life”

The classic holiday tale of George Bailey comes to life on stage through impressive vocal performances, sound effects, and audience interaction.

Five actors stand on stage in front of microphone wearing colored outfits

Color coding is helpful as each performer vocalizes several characters’ voices.

Photo by Jingzi Zhao/Portland Center Stage

City Editor Ben here. Over the weekend, I attended a matinee performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. But you may be wondering (like I was before the show), what exactly is that?

Well, a talented cast of six actors takes you through the classic holiday tale of George Bailey, a business owner with a heart of gold who finds himself on the edge of financial ruin (and a bridge), before his guardian angel Clarence intervenes.

The trick is, the entire story is portrayed as if it’s being broadcast live from Portland to countless other listeners via the radio. There are even a few humorous ad spots. Through impressive vocal performances, sound effects, and audience interaction, the emotional journey comes to life in a colorful and extraordinary way.

You have until Saturday, Dec. 24, to round up the loved ones and see it for yourself — “remember, no one is a failure who has friends.”

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