When Pacifica Spindrift Players opens its stage production of the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Friday for a four-weekend run in Pacifica, 11 Half Moon Bay, Moss Beach and El Granada residents will be taking part in the cast or crew.

The play, a condensed version of the 1944 James Stewart/Donna Reed film about good-hearted but despairing George Bailey and his realization of how good life is, relies on narration for those parts that cannot be reproduced onstage. It is presented by nearly 30 actors and singers of all ages under director Lennon Smith of Pacifica.

Cast members include Ginger Cutter as crusty bank examiner Miss Carter, and Kennedy Cutter, 10, as Peter Bailey, a newsboy and a townsperson. The El Granada mother and son, who appeared in “Oklahoma!” with Coastal Repertory Theatre, say that acting together is a bonding experience.

“It’s better than I thought it would be, because I’ve got someone I can always talk to,” said Kennedy.

“It’s a lot of fun,” echoed his mother, adding that “I like seeing Kennedy’s growth in theater.”

It’s not easy — Kennedy, a Sea Crest School fifth-grader, juggles homework, playing flute in the school band, basketball, Kuk Sool Won classes and rehearsals. “My life is a rush hour,” said the boy, who is in his 10th play with “Wonderful Life.”

And his mother, who started in theater as an adult and has appeared in other Bay Area productions, laughs at the fact that “Kennedy knows my lines better than I do!”

Storm Russell of Moss Beach appears as Clarence Odbody, the lovable angel sent down to help George.

For Russell, the role is lovable. “He’s the soul of sincerity,” said the financial adviser, who calls the “Wonderful Life” movie a part of his annual Christmas ritual. “(He has) an inside source on what’s going to happen (and) absolute faith in George.”

Though Russell has appeared with several Bay Area theaters, this is his second spiritual stage incarnation, having played the title role in “Lazarus” at the Community United Methodist Church.

“I hope I can convey sincerity and confidence and bring everyone a little bit of heaven,” he said of playing Clarence.

Other Coastsiders in “Wonderful Life” crew are Margaret Harris (stage manager, Half Moon Bay), Nick Jacobsen (assistant stage manager, Moss Beach), mother and daughter Shawna and Sara Ramos (props and set décor, Half Moon Bay) and Bill Barton (musical director, Half Moon Bay).

The cast includes John Szabo (“Uncle Billy,” Half Moon Bay), Stephen Kruger (“Bert,” caroler, Half Moon Bay), Denise Delaney (“Ernie,” caroler, Half Moon Bay), Rebecca Newlin (caroler, Half Moon Bay) and Stacy Trevenon (“Mrs. Hatch,” El Granada).

The play runs Nov. 21 through Dec. 14 at the PSP theater at 1050 Crespi Drive in Pacifica. Tickets are $15 to $18. For information, call (650) 359-8002.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

More Stories