LHS drama group presents fun holiday classic

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Hannah Shoffitt, News Editor

Spoilers ahead! (The movie’s been out for 75 years, so that’s on you if you haven’t seen it.)

The LHS drama club performed It’s a Wonderful Life Nov. 10-12. Cast members recreated the 1946 Christmas classic with great skill and expertise.
The play follows the life of George Bailey (Jacob Bigler), a selfless and hardworking man. The audience watches as a young Bailey (Dekin Carney) saves his younger brother, Harry (Lane Riggs), from drowning and stops the town druggist Mr. Gower (Max Schaffer), from the accidental poisoning of a child. A budding romance with Mary Hatch (Rachel Hughes) ensues, and they later get married.
All would go well in Bedford Falls if it weren’t for the distasteful Henry Potter (Hunter Weigand). Potter, who controls most of the small town financially, is extremely greedy and unfair. George, due to many unfortunate circumstances, is the only force rivaling Potter’s power. He shoulders most of the stress and workload alongside his eccentric Uncle Billy (Trace Steele).
On Christmas Eve, George returns from the office and snaps at Mary and their four children. He then has a mental break and attempts suicide by jumping off a bridge. His class-two guardian angel Clarence (Zachary Steadman) saves him to gain his wings and reveals his identity. George conveys his wish never to be born, and Clarence grants it. George then encounters old friends and family who either don’t recognize him, are dead (Harry), or imprisoned and outcast (Mr. Gower) because he was never born. George then realizes that life is wonderful and worth living, and Clarence takes back his actions, effectively earning his wings. He then returns to his wife and kids with a new zest for life and a rejuvenated Christmas spirit.
Overall, the play was well executed. Prop removals and transitions were snappy, maintaining a good flow. Bigler and Hughes were excellent leads; the time they spent preparing to create an enjoyable experience for the audience was evident. The same could be said for all of the cast. Characters such as Violet Bick (Allison Remacle), Uncle Billy, and Annie (Chayli Chastain) added a perfect touch of sass and humor. Ernie (Cael Wilponen) and Bert (Lane Riggs) also made for an entertaining show.
Many cast members played multiple characters, which was very impressive. The Bailey children (Jilian Herr, Haning, Bridger Cahill, and Brynlee Blegen) were highly talented and adorable. The angels watching over the life of George Bailey (Sarah Kammer, Piper Rickman, and Zach Steadman) helped tie the theme into the plot well.
Regardless, there were some faults. Microphones were turned off and on at incorrect times throughout the play and this amplified breathing and other distracting noises. Unfortunately, this detracted from the experience.
The LHS drama department did an excellent job with this holiday play and they entertained the audience well. The cast did fantastic work, with Director Mel Syverson and Assistant Director Olivia Reynolds masterfully coaching and directing. Only technical difficulties distracted from the performance. It’s a Wonderful Life deserves a 4.5 out of five.