Truth be told, I could never sit through the perennial holiday “classic” It’s a Wonderful Life. Many people make an annual ritual of watching this movie, but I always thought the story schlocky and Jimmy Stewart’s performance overwrought.
I recently changed my view when I saw a theatrical version of the story told in the 1946 Frank Capra movie. At the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, audience members became viewers at a traditional live radio show, set in the early 1950s, with the actors playing multiple roles in front of microphones, lighted signs to cue applause and a Foley artist creating scene-appropriate sound effects. This stage production encouraged me to view the movie through new eyes and I realized it contained several economic insights.