ATC’s holiday perennial blooms again, transporting audiences to the forties and the Golden Age of Radio. Its news reports, dedications and re-creation of Frank Capra’s classic make for poignant, gentle entertainment.
The ensemble’s impressive vocal dexterity enables it to handle the multiple castings with aplomb; Bernard Balbot gives Mel Blanc a run for his money. Rick Kubes’ on-time Foley work enhances the production’s retro feel, no mean feat. Kareem Bandealy and Mary Winn Heider have the thankless task of assuming roles Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed cornered, yet they manage to capture the love and humor that bind the couple.
It’s a shame the schism between ATC and the majority of its ensemble members has created double productions and competition for audience. The best gifts both groups could give us would be to rise above their differences and get back to the strenuous blessing of creating art. (Lisa Buscani)