Saturday, December 6, 2003

Loveland shows holiday spirit in 'Wonderful Life'


High School Entertainers

[IMAGE] Bradley Martinez (left), playing George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, acts during dress rehearsal Wednesday with Nate Helton (sitting) as Henry F. Potter. Standing behind him is Potter's assistant, played by Rachel McCullough, and to the right is Chelsea Daugherty playing Potter's secretary.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
In It's A Wonderful Life, a man looks back at the life he had. Loveland High School students recently looked back at this American classic with a wonderful transformation into the 1940s.

The fictional town of Bedford Falls is the setting for the tale of a man named George Bailey, who had trouble seeing his life's value. An angel named Clarence helped George see what life would be like without him, and saved his life.

To help accentuate the time period and the situations, Loveland's costumes and sets were chosen appropriately. The show includes many set changes, which the stage crew executed very smoothly, with no major mishaps. Even the buildings and props were built and used in a 1940s style.

To further enhance the setting, the lighting crew used spotlights in different places, symbolizing all the prayers of the people of Bedford Falls in the show's opening.

The cast was well-prepared, with no line mistakes, showing their professionalism. The entire cast played its roles nicely, despite some trouble reacting with the other characters.

Some of the students reminded the audience of classic movie stars like James Stewart and Donna Reed, who starred in the film version.

Bradley Martinez , who played George Bailey, presented the multifaceted George very well, with his actions and character quirks. The sweet wife of George, Mary Hatch, was played by Laura McOsker, who showed a sweet, supportive stage manner.

Other key characters, the evil Henry F. Potter and the caring old Harry Bailey, were played by Nate Helton and Austin Partridge, respectively. The cast showed a variety of talents, with a large cast and stage crew involved.

With a movie classic such as It's a Wonderful Life, it is natural to make comparisons. Loveland High School students performed a wonderful show of their own, just in time for the holidays.

Kirsten Schaffer, Turpin High School

EXCERPTS:

To establish the pristine town of Bedford Falls, Meaghan Ensor designed a wonderfully orchestrated set. Multiple environments were defined through houses and drops, all providing enough information to fill up the stage with a reality for the actors. As clean and clear as a December snowfall, the sound rang through the auditorium thanks to the work of James Sturges. .

Kathryn Novak, Mason High School

As Uncle Billy, Aaron Asbury also had a fine performance. During several of the scenes in which he is frantically looking for the missing money, Asbury was jittery and shaking, as he bumbled his way about the stage, giving a tangible sense of panic.

Rebecca Griffiths, Taylor High School

Wonderful set changes and believable backdrops made the audience part of the play. The light cues were timely and the sound was very good. The tech work added to the show's overall believability.

Jessica Luse, Highlands High School

Bradley Martinez portrayed George Bailey passionately. Not only through the traditional vocal tactics, but through more subtle changes in movement as well.

Stacy Goldston, William Mason High School

The Greater Cincinnati chapter of Cappies, or Critics and Awards Program, is in its third season, with students writing reviews of other high schools' productions. Today, Loveland High's It's a Wonderful Life.

For more information, see www.cappies.com.




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