APT: This Wonderful Life

So what do you do if your favorite holiday movie is ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and you are an actor who’s not working this holiday season because…you know. You grab hold of ‘This Wonderful Life’ by the throat and you take us all on a wonderful roller coaster of memories and observations and wonder.

This is the second of the virtual performances being presented by the American Players Theatre for the 2020 Holiday Season. The text is by Steve Murray and directed by William Brown. And ALL of the characters are impossibly and incredibly played by Nate Burger, who loves the movie more than any of us!

Now I know that we aren’t being deprived of the ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ movie experience the way we are missing live theater…but that’s absolutely no reason to miss this!!

First thing you do is visit the APT website and purchase a ticket. And then plan when you want to set aside eighty uninterrupted minutes necessary to take this all in and commence with the requisite laughter and tears. The video will be available until end of day December 29th, so plan accordingly.

And then just before you hit play on the video…forget everything you know about ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ the movie and be prepared to relearn and relive the experience of seeing it the first time. Believe me, Mr. Burger will give you every complexity of the story either by playing the character, acting out the various conversations, or through any number of strange interludes. And you will get more than the story this time…but also some timely comments about culture and society and economics that are writ large in the movie but is often overlooked for the story…so be forewarned…there is more than meets the eye here!

Nate Burger (as himself) screen grab from the trailer

This is an amazing adaptation…and Nate Burger as all 55 characters just throws himself into each and everyone. And if you followed my suggestion to forget everything you remember about the movie, you will laugh here. You will cry here. You will say to yourself, how could I have forgotten that? And more importantly, you will say, how did I not see that or feel that before? Because you will feel and say and wonder all of those things.

This production again proves that American Players Theatre has made these small virtual theatrical presentations their own. And they couldn’t have found a better production to stage this year and oh my goodness…they couldn’t have found a better actor for the role as Nate Burger. This presentation of ‘This Wonderful Life’ should become a holiday staple just as its inspiration, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is.

And marvel at the special effects and revel in the credits! LOL!

Here’s the trailer to get you in the spirit: