Munster, IN – Actors David Sajewich, in the role of George Bailey, and Allison Sill in the role of his wife Mary, lead the cast of Theatre at the Center’s A Wonderful Life: The Musical with James Harms as Mr. Potter, David Perkovich as Clarence, Jim Heatherly as Uncle Billy and Jason Richards as Mr. Martini. Previews begin November 16 with an Opening Night on November 19 and a run through December 23. A Wonderful Life: The Musical is made possible by the generous support of show sponsor American Community Bank.
“We are so excited to welcome the holiday season with A Wonderful Life,” said Artistic Director Linda Fortunato. “All the charm, heart and humanity of the classic film are brought to the stage in this musical adaptation of the beloved life-affirming story. Perfect for a holiday celebration with the whole family”.
Based on the classic 1946 Frank Capra film starring James Stewart as George Bailey, A Wonderful Life: The Musical features book and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Joe Raposo. It’s the musical telling of how Clarence, George Bailey’s guardian angel, shows George how different the world, and everyone whose life he has touched, would be if he had never been born. The beauty of the season, iconic Bedford Falls and yuletide spirit await audiences on the TATC stage for a musical that applauds the true meaning of Christmas.
David Sajewich was previously seen at TATC in All Shook Up and Beverly Hillbillies. Other credits include Les Miserables at Drury Lane Oakbrook, The Pajama Game and The Baker’s Wife at The Music Theatre Company and Fiddler on the Roof at Paramount Theatre. Allison Sill, who was also last seen at TATC in All Shook Up, has previous credits which include Honeymoon in Vegas, She Loves Me and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Marriott Theatre, Oklahoma at Paramount Theatre and The Producers at Mercury Theater Chicago.
James Harms, who plays Mr. Potter, previously appeared at TATC in Beverly Hillbillies. James received Jeff Awards for his performances in The Fantasticks, Hello, Dolly, Me and My Girl, and La Cage aux Folles. Last year he made his debut at Carnegie Hall in concert with Chita Rivera. In the role of Clarence, David Perkovich, was last seen at TATC in Man of La Mancha and Phantom. David has performed in more than 120 shows including the national tour of Evita and has directed more than 60 productions including TATC’s The 39 Steps, Spamalot, Beverly Hillbillies and Grease. Jim Heatherly is making his TATC debut as Uncle Billy. Jim’s recent work includes the world premiere of Dance For Beginners at Piven Theatre Workshop and Light Up the Sky at Citadel Theatre. Jason Richards, playing multiple roles as Mr. Martini, Mr. Hepner and Mr. Campbell, was previously seen at TATC in Big River and Annie Warbucks. Other credits include The Producers at Mercury Theater Chicago and Shrek at Chicago Shakespeare. Jason also received a Jeff Award for his performance as Nicky/Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q at Night Blue Theater.
The ensemble cast consists of Caron Buinis, Lexis Danca, Christopher Davis, Ann Delaney, Andres Enriquez, Neil Friedman, Daniel Hurst, Kayla Kennedy, Henry McGinniss, James Nedrud, Mary Nigohosian, Casiena Raether, Rick Rapp, and Denzel Tsopnang. Child performers include Lilliana Rene, Julian Solis and Kylie Sullivan.
William Pullinsi is director of A Wonderful Life: The Musical. Pullinsi served as TATC’s Artistic Director for 10 seasons prior to becoming Artistic Director Emeritus in 2015 when he was named “Chicagoan of the Year in Theatre” by the Chicago Tribune. In 2016, The League of Chicago Theatres also presented Pullinsi with their Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions influencing and inspiring the Chicago theatre community. Pullinsi has won 19 Jeff Awards for Best Production and/or Best Direction and produced and directed more than 400 productions of Broadway plays and musicals.
Bill Underwood serves as Music Director and Gordon Schmidt is choreographer. Linda Fortunato is TATC’s Artistic Director; Richard Friedman is General Manager and Ann Davis is Head of Production. Scenic Designers for A Wonderful Life: The Musical are Richard and Jacqueline Penrod. Lighting Design is by Denise Karczewski with Costume Design by Brenda Winstead, Wig Design by Kevin Barthel, Prop Design by Brittney O’ Keefe and Sound Design by Barry Funderburg. Stage Manager is Angela Adams.
Founded in 1991, the 410-seat Theatre at the Center is a year round professional theater at its home: The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Theatre at the Center is the only professional theater company in Northwest Indiana, offering downtown caliber performances in an accessible venue with plenty of free parking. Theater at the Center is located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago.
Performances are 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, with select Tuesday afternoon and Thursday and Sunday evening performances. Individual ticket prices range from $40 – $44. To purchase individual tickets, call the Box Office at 219-836-3255 or Tickets.com at 800-511-1552. Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more and gift certificates are also available. For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit www.TheatreATTheCenter.com.
Caption: Allison Sill (Mary), David Sajewich (George) and Liliana Rena (Zuzu) will appear in It’s A Wonderful Life: The Musical at Theatre at the Center. Previews begin November 15. Photo by Michael Brosilow.