FULL HOUSES, STANDING OVATIONS, AND RECORD FUNDS RAISED
This year's production of "It's a Wonderful Life", produced as a benefit by The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation for Center Stage Biloxi, was received with resounding applause and standing ovations from FULL HOUSES on BOTH nights on December 7th and 8th.
The full-house audience members traveled from throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana and even included a family from Albany, NY, on vacation in Biloxi.
The production was opened by "The Hollys", a singing trio in the style of the Andrew's Sisters from the 40s; while 40s vehicles were displayed outside the theater and vintage radios were displayed alongside festive adornments and confectionery, including wassail and hot chocolate drinks.
WLOX-TV news anchor Mike Lacy introduced the show as narrator to the 40s-style radio-play production which many of the audience later remarked provided enjoyment surpassing the movie upon which the production was based.
Local actors Josh Boney and Alyssa Diamond were glittering stars as George and Mary Bailey respectively, Josh pulling off a superb study of George Bailey and superbly reminiscent of James Stewart in his dynamic delivery. The evil Henry Potter (Paul Eubanks) received well-deserved hisses and boos which turned to appreciative applause during the curtain calls; while at the other end of the scale, the Angel Clarence (Stephen James) toyed with George Bailey as well as the audience, in comedic Cockney style.
A cast of almost 20 supporting actors of all ages and experience supported the production, some rendering multiple voices, while it was Rhonda Howard who "stole" the show with her riveting performances of the floozy Violet Bick in both Bedford Falls and the raunchy Pottersville. And seven-year-old Morgana Mcrae brought the audience to tears of joy with the immortal line, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings".
Here's to the next production. Until then.. Auld Lang Syne!
Eleventh annual benefit dynamic radio-play on stage to be held at
Center Stage, Biloxi, December 7th & 8th, 2019
Following ten years' success in New Orleans, The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation is bringing its production of "It's a Wonderful Life" to The Center Stage in Biloxi, MS.
Produced as a dynamic radio-play on stage, the production has wowed Holiday audiences in New Orleans for the past ten years - directed and produced by Stephen James, a Biloxi resident and Founder and CEO of the non-profit NOLA Voice Talent Foundation.
This will be the third production James will have presented in Mississippi by NOLA Voice Talent Gulf Coast, with two previous radio-play productions of The Whistler in Biloxi and Ocean Springs being a resounding success.
"It's a Wonderful Life" is based on the popular classic Christmas movie of the same name and adapted as a radio-play by New Orleans performer Vatican Lokey, a former member of NOLA Voice Talent.
This year's production at Center Stage Biloxi (December 7th & 8th) will be a Holiday extravaganza, with classic cars lined up outside the theater and Holiday delicacies served in the foyer. WLOX-TV newscaster Mike Lacy will narrate the production, while established Saucier actress Alyssa Diamond plays the leading lady Mary Hatch Bailey, the tolerant wife of the wayward George Bailey (Josh Boney). Saving George from his attempt to jump off the bridge at Bedford Falls is Clarence, played as an oafish Cockney by Biloxi's own British voice-actor and coach Stephen James, while the evil Henry Potter is played by international wrestling announcer and actor Paul Eubanks (Claws, Tell me Your Secrets, The Purge, NCIS:New Orleans).
(Mary Hatch Bailey)
Mike Lacy (WLOX-TV)