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Published: Wednesday, 12/8/2010

'It's A Wonderful Life' on stage at Owens

Owens Community College looks to the World War II era Friday as it presents a “live radio broadcast” of the Frank Capra film It's A Wonderful Life.

Produced by the North Carolina State Company and Immediate Theatre Project, It's A Wonderful Life: Live From WVL Radio Theatre will re-create the look and feel of the days when radio dramas were presented live, from the “on-air” signs lighting up in the “studio” (the stage) to the sound-effects geniuses coming up with appropriate background noise.

The story is that of George Bailey. Facing financial disaster, he contemplates suicide, believing the world would have been better had he not been born. With the help of an angel-in-training, George comes to understand the profound beneficial impact he has had on his family and his hometown of Bedford Falls.

More than 30 characters and numerous locations of Capra's classic film will be showcased in the performance.

“It's A Wonderful Life: Live From WVL Radio Theatre” is scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday in Owens Community College's Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg. Tickets are $23. Information: 567-661-2787 or 800-466-9367, ext. 2787.

A mermaid's tale

Amid all the holiday gift-shopping and food-buying, here's something that's will give tired feet and battered wallets a break.

Jennifer Rockwood, director of the University of Toledo's First-Year Experience Office, has written a play and is presenting a staged reading at 7:30 p.m. Friday. And it's free.

Called Watershed, it's about a mermaid who shows up at a diner in the backwoods of Tennessee, Rockwood said in a telephone conversation Tuesday.

“It's about ecology, water, all the mythology of mermaids,” she said, refusing to divulge much about the plot. “It's a comedy. I think — I hope — it's going to be great fun.”

Rockwood, who often directs local plays, said she's had elements of the story in her head for quite awhile and finally decided “to find an outlet for all the people and voices I have in my head.”

The first public performance of Watershed, the reading will serve several purposes. It will give Rockwood an opportunity to hear her words being spoken by actual people so that she can see if they ring true, and it will provide audience feedback, so things can be changed, if need be, before a full production.

Rockwood's cast comprises Kate Abu-Absi, James Norman, John Meadows, and Matt Black.

The free staged reading of “Watershed” is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Center Theatre of UT's Center for Fine and Performing Arts, off Secor Road at West Campus Road and Towerview Boulevard. Information: 419-530-2330.

Also opening

● The national tour of Grease, the popular musical about high school students in the 1950s, stops in Lima for a single performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Veterans' Memorial Civic and Convention Center, 7 Town Sq. Tickets are $53. Information: 419-224-1552.

● The University of Michigan presents William Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing this weekend in the Power Center for the Performing Arts, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for students and $18 and $24 for the public. Information: 734-764-2538.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at

ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.



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