The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

December 13, 2013

Sooner Theatre takes on silver screen classic

NORMAN — The silver screen comes to life this holiday season during the Sooner Theatre’s production of “A Wonderful Life.”

A musical adaptation of the Frank Capra classic film “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the story follows the life of George Bailey as he attempts to reconcile unrealized dreams with the burdensome responsibilities of reality.

The tale takes the audience on a tour of Bailey’s life, exploring what could have been had he never existed. Though he long dreams of seeing the world, his hopes are interrupted when he is thrust into saving the town of Bedford Falls from the greedy financier Henry Potter. As Bailey’s world unravels, an apprentice angel, Clarence, is sent to answer the community’s prayers for George’s well-being.

Bryan Partridge, playing Bailey, said his character explores a gamut of emotions during the production.

“To the audience his life is pretty good and he ends up getting married, has a family and kids, but nothing goes the way that he sees it so he’s constantly beating himself down with, ‘This world is terrible,’” Partridge said. “...He gets redemption at the end and in a sense has this salvation and brand new look on life — it is a wonderful life, even though he hasn’t seen it that way.”

Like Bailey, Partridge said a recent epiphany also changed his lives direction. While persuing acting in New York City, Partridge said he received the call to ministry. He now works full time as a youth minister at NorthHaven Church. Partridge said he has drawn parallels between his ministry and his character’s development, such as the importance of growth, redemption and gratitude.

Partridge said he hopes the audience is able to relate to Bailey’s transformation as much as he does.

Michael Gibbons, playing Potter, agreed.

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