This weekend the Guymon Community Theatre is putting on the stage version of It’s a Wonderful Life by James Rodgers from the film by Frank Capra and story by Philip Van Doren Stern. I have always loved watching the movie version, and I watch it every year during the holidays. In fact, while the bell tolls during the intro to the movie I always begin to cry. That’s right. During the intro, even before the movie actually starts, I start to cry. I cannot help myself. There is just something about that movie from start to finish that tugs hard at my heartstrings.
I phoned in my reservations for tonight’s stage performance at Guymon Community Theatre in advance and was glad I had. I was surprised how many cars were in the downtown area, and had to park quite a ways away from the theatre. When we got inside, I could see why, as the show was nearly a sell out.
I first began to cry with George Bailey and Mary Hatch singing “Buffalo Gals” and dancing by the light of the moon. The best part of the show was the portrayal of George Bailey by veteran actor and friend, Tyler Puryear. Tyler brought his character to life in a way rarely accomplished on a live theatre stage. Sure, the show had its share of distractions with the usual array of live theatre gaffs. Like mics not working, phones not ringing on cue and lights going down before a scene is over. But I was still blubbering when I left the theatre two hours later.
Like most folks, I always think of Jimmy Stewart when I think of my favorite holiday story It’s a Wonderful Life, but from now on Tyler Puryear will come to the front of my mind. Tyler undoubtedly carried the day.
There are only two more showings, Saturday night and Sunday matinee. I highly recommend seeing this show.