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It's a Wonderful Life

Will McDonald, Esther Smith, and Steve King perform live sound effects during a Theatrikos performance of It's a Wonderful Life.

What makes a person rich? This holiday season, Theatrikos Theatre Co. answers this question with the production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play,” running weekends through Dec. 17 at the Doris Harper-White Community Playhouse in historic downtown Flagstaff.

The play is adapted by Philip Grecian based on the classic holiday film with a twist: the story is staged as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. Guardian angel Clarence helps George understand the true purpose of his life and realize that family and friends are what make a person rich.

With that sentiment in mind, Theatrikos is donating the proceeds from the Thursday, Dec. 7, performance to the family of the theater’s former box office manager, Ginger Haviland, whose sons Nathaniel and Jesse are longtime volunteers and actors with Theatrikos. The boys lost their father and Nathaniel also lost all his family’s material possessions in a recent house fire.

“As a community theater, our friends are our families,” said Drew Purcell, executive director. “We hope this brings them a bit of joy during this painful period and helps them as they rebuild their lives.”

Veteran directors Virginia Brown and Linda Sutera team up to co-direct this heartwarming holiday favorite.

The show includes live music with musical direction by Kenlynn Winsor plus live 1940s-style commercials for local Flagstaff businesses.

The assistant director is Chrissy Doba and the cast includes Glenn Hansen as George Bailey, as well as several actors who will play multiple roles, including Alisa Ashley, Scott Ballou, Susan Chastain, Kathy Farreta, Kelsey Hontz, Paige Latendresse, Aaron Luckey, Molly Parafiniuk, Nate Piper, John Propster, Michael Rulon, Tony Sutera and John Winikka. Traditional radio sound effects will be performed by Steve King, Will McDonald and Esther Smith.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 17. Individual tickets range from $13-$24 plus applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased at; by calling 774-1662; or by visiting the theater’s box office, which is open from noon-6 Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and two hours prior to each performance.

Sing Along with Santa and celebrate Christmas in the Mountains this weekend

Master Chorale of Flagstaff will present two holiday concerts this weekend, a family sing-along and its annual Christmas concert.

Sing Along With Santa, a free concert for northern Arizona families, will be presented Saturday by Master Chorale’s chamber choir, the Arizona Mountain Chorale led by Brad Beale, and three choirs from the Flagstaff Youth Chorale: the Kinder Chorus, Pine Tones and Dolce Cantando. Families can hear familiar holiday songs, sing favorite carols, and see Santa Claus, before heading downtown for the holiday lights parade. The concert will be held Saturday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m., at Marshall Elementary School, 850 N. Bonito St.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, Ardrey Auditorium at Northern Arizona University hosts the annual Christmas in the Mountains concert with the 85-voice Master Chorale of Flagstaff, the Arizona Mountain Chorale, Flagstaff High School Choir, Flagstaff Youth Chorale, Harter Handbell Choir, and accompanying orchestra.

Directors Tom Peterson, Brad Beale, Stephanie Galloway, Steven Schaefer, and Ryan Phillips lead the respective ensembles, with combined ensembles performing under the baton of Peterson. The 30-piece orchestra is made up of some of Flagstaff’s superior instrumentalists, most of whom are members of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra.

The Flagstaff High School Choir, a new participant in the program, opens the concert with three seasonal works, one celebrating Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Tickets for “Christmas in the Mountains” range in price from $8-$20, and are available from NAU Central Ticketing 523-5661, from and at the door.


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