COOS BAY — “It's A Wonderful Life” offers a wonderful opportunity to make the season of giving an interactive experience.
The Dolphin Playhouse, at 580 Newmark Ave. in the Empire District of Coos Bay, is opening a new performance this weekend. On Saturday, they are offering free admission to anyone bringing a new, unwrapped toy for Christmas.
Steve Wilson, who is directing the "Wonderful Life” old-time radio show, says the Dolphin Playhouse is a community theater that wants to give back to its community. So, they have been declared a Toys For Tots drop-off site on Saturday.
“The play is about giving, (and) self-sacrifice, and that is really what the Christmas season is all about anyway,” Wilson said during a recent rehearsal. “With the toys returning to the children of this community, that is really what the Dolphins are about, just being part of this local community.”
On Saturday, Dec. 13, from 4 p.m. until the show starts at 7 p.m., if you bring a new unwrapped toy the Dolphin's will donate it to Toys For Tots and, in return, you will get in to see the show for free.
The show itself is a mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar. The showcase of an historical live radio broadcast is just a little bit different than the well-known Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart movie.
“Although this play, and the movie, was based on Philip Van Doren Stern's original short story, that he (started writing) in 1939, it still has the same meaning. But we perform this in the old-time radio style, with live sound effects, live commercials, and the actors hold their scripts. This is definitely a period piece too, with the actors in period clothing.”
It is a full entertainment experience for the entire family, he said. There will be cookies and milk and, of course, eggnog.
“(You) can expect sing-alongs, tears, and a lot of smiles.”
Performances run on Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., through Dec. 21. There will also be an ugly sweater contest, with prizes awarded, on Dec. 13, and a dollar off admission on Dec. 20 for anyone wearing a Santa or elf hat.