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Flora Lynn Isaacson

A Wonderful Show at RVP for the Holidays!

By December 7, 2023No Comments

Ross Valley Players celebrates the holidays with Joe Landry’s radio play version of It’s a Wonderful Life on stage now through December 17.  It’s a wonderful show and a lot of fun thanks to Director Adrian Elfenbaum’s “immensely gifted cast, imaginative and creative designers, stalwart crew and gracious producer (Steve Price).”

As the audience enters the theater, the actors are already onstage, apparently just arriving to work at a radio station decorated beautifully for the holidays.

Set Designer Mikiko Uesugi does a fantastic job setting the scene with fabulous details and color. There is a piano on one side, four microphones at the front and two tables behind. On the tables are various objects to create sound effects that compliment the story the radio actors will perform.

Normally a “Foley” artist performs the sound effects, but Elefenbaum thought it would be clever to have the actors performing the effects and music themselves.  Luckily he found a group of multitalented actors capable of performing both music and various dramatic roles.

Loren Nordlund (Freddie) deserves special recognition for his acting as Mr. Potter, the angel, cabdriver and more. His music direction, original music and arrangements are incredible.  Evan Held (Jake) stands out playing both young and old George Bailey and Elenor Irene Paul (Sally) compliments him well in the role of George’s wife Mary.  Molly Rebekka Benson (Lana) has great energy and range in her multiple roles especially playing Violet, Rose, Ruth, Zuzu and Sadie.

Malcolm Rodgers (Harrry Jazzbo Heywood) plays Harry, Bert the Cop, Sam Wainwright and he also plays guitar and sings. All of these fine actors bring the era and story to life—making for a standing ovation from the audience at the end of the show.

This production is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.  Elfenbaum succeeds in his goal to “inspire us during this holiday season to always cherish the reality that we depend on each other and we need each other.”

Kudos also to Michael Berg for excellent costumes, Billie Cox (Sound), Michael Walraven (Set) and the entire production team for their dedication and talent.

Coming up next at Ross Valley Players is Our Town by Thornton Wilder and directed by Chloe Bronzan, January 26 to February 25, 2024.