Travel back to a simpler time, America’s mid-twentieth century, as the North County Players (northcountyplayers.org) brings its newest show, “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Carol,” to the Women’s Club of Escondido Dec. 8-18.
North County Players’ previous holiday offering, “Mr. Scrooge & Mr. Dickens” has played to full houses and thousands of attendees throughout the area for nearly the past decade.
“We’re excited about our new show,” said the group’s co-founder, cast member, and Valley Center resident, Marsi Carr. “It’s a fantastic way to welcome back old friends who have shared past Christmases with us while we all get into the holiday spirit.”
The club’s theater will be transformed into the idyllic post-WW II town of Bedford Falls, made famous by the Frank Capra Christmas classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a long-suffering America businessman struggling against powerful forces bent on destroying his dream of building a better community with a little bit of heavenly help from his guardian angel, Clarence.
North County Players bills “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Carol” as “a faithful adaptation of the 1945 movie with twists and surprises straight from the mind of Charles Dickens” — the author of what is likely the other most-beloved holiday tale of all time, “A Christmas Carol.”
The show features period costumes and sets, caroling, dancers, 1940’s Big Band holiday tunes, along with powerful music, sound, and visual effects.
“We chose the Women’s Club because their charming little theater looks just like what you’d expect to see if you stepped back into Bedford Falls,” Carr added. “They’ve got great seating, wrapping nearly 3/4 of the way around the stage, giving every audience member excellent viewability.
“One-hundred-percent of ticket sales will be donated to local North County non-profits,” said Carr. “Seriously, one-hundred-percent, primarily to Women’s Club family-oriented charities, so vital especially during the holidays. It’s a fantastic way to make a donation that really counts for something and enjoy a fantastic evening out as well.
“We’re especially excited about something pretty special we’ll be doing in the show’s final few minutes,” Carr noted, “welcoming audience members right up on stage to be impromptu ‘citizens of Bedford Falls.’ As an added treat, we’ll also be videoing those last couple of minutes and making the recordings available free-ofcharge to anyone who wants them, just by clicking on a simple YouTube link.”
Carr added, “It’s completely non-pressure. We’ll give a little signal and folks can just mosey on up as we celebrate the show’s ultimate triumph of good over evil and join in singing ‘Aulde Lang Syne.’ ”
“It’s a Wonderful Christmas Carol” stars many of San Diego’s favorite stage actors: Fred Gaines as George Bailey, Amber Stroyer as Mary Bailey (played by Donna Reed in the movie), Ford Neha Curtiss as Henry Potter (played by Lionel Barrymore), along with David Ross (Clarence), Marsi Carr (Aunt Billie), Betsy Toker, John Aviles, Jacob James, Andrew Janusek, Audrey Linder, Valerie and Kendra Carlson, and nearly a dozen more.
Tickets cost $12 general, $9 children, seniors, military. Go to NorthCounty- Players.org for easy tickets, info, and directions. Tickets will also be available at the door (subject to seating).
“Our goal is to make excellent live theater accessible to everyone,” Carr added. “We’d like to get people into a theater habit in addition to a movie habit. In fact, that’s our slogan: ‘Take a movie break; Catch a show!’ ”
Shows take place Dec. 8-18 at the Women’s Club of Escondido, on the corner of Mission and Rose, just behind the House of Prayer church. Plenty of parking is available.
Enjoy a wide variety of before-the-show and intermission goodies at reasonable prices. Thirsty? Sip a glass of wine or a beer while you enjoy the show in addition to sodas, coffee, and tea.
Call 760-933-9174 to inquire about special pricing for your club or group.