MOUNT VERNON — Frank Capra’s immortal film has been brought to life in Mount Vernon with Orange Barrel Production Co.’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It is an emotional story start to finish, that features all of the highs, lows and extraordinary acts of an ordinary life.
The quintessential Christmas story follows the life of George Bailey, portrayed by Tony Montgomery with an expert embodiment of Jimmy Stewart’s classic portrayal in the 1946 film, as a man who has lived his life in service to others, only to fall on hard times and contemplate suicide on Christmas Eve. Through the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence, portrayed with perfect comedic timing by Joe Seals, George Bailey is able to see just how many people have been touched by his existence and the profound impact he has had on his community, Bedford Falls.
The production features and energetic young cast, utilized to show all of the important moments of Bailey’s life and the lifetime of good deeds and favors he has bestowed upon the people around him. This production, according to Director Michele Bayko, also features the first live kiss in an Orange Barrel Production thanks to the George and Mary Bailey being portrayed by a real married couple, Tony and Hannah Montgomery.
“This is a profoundly moving story that needs to be spread everywhere — that your life has meaning,” Bayko said. “It shows the purpose of life and all of the ways that we can touch others.”
The main cast members — Tony and Hannah Montgomery, along with Seals — explained that this show is perfect for the holiday season, because it contains elements that everyone can relate to about a self-sacrificing man and the nature of community.
“This character gives so much of himself to everyone else around him,” Hannah said. “At one point, he was going to kill himself, but stops to save somebody else.”
The cast comes together with strong chemistry, which they explained, helped them to embody the cooperative nature of the Bedford Falls townspeople, who all come together to help the Bailey family.
“The cast is made up of a lot of great characters,” Tony said. “This is community theater, we’re a 501(c)3 non-profit, so we all pitched in to make this successful and helped each other out.”
See “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Mount Vernon Developmental Center, 1250 Vernonview Drive, Mount Vernon, in the Great Room Theater tonight or Nov. 15-17. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with a 7 p.m. showtime. Tickets are can be purchased at the door, at www.ohiodrama.com or with cash or check at 740-504-8847.