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'It's a Wonderful Life' Closes Tonight at RHS

Adaptation of well-known play shows at Rosemont High School tonight.

Take one young actor who has never set foot on a stage before, back him with a supporting ensemble that rivals any seen in a big-budget production, and you have the mixture for an enjoyable evening filled with holiday spirit.

's production of "It's a Wonderful Life," which runs for the last time at 7 p.m. tonight in the school's theater, is a well-put-together play that kept the audience involved during a recent performance.

From the beginning, when the audience is first introduced to George Bailey (played by 17-year-old Jon Parsley), the story, directed by Ruth C. Sosa, draws the theater-goer into the life of its lead character.

"Playing George – it was just a really great opportunity," Parsley said. "Mary Bailey [Raven B. Jones] asked me to audition for the part – she thought I'd be good at it. I'd never done theater before but I guess it worked out all right."

Parsley added that he had done public speaking for a long time, so getting up in front of an audience was no big deal. He had about six week to rehearse.

For those not familiar with the story, the play, which was adapted for stage by Anthony Palermo, revolves around George Bailey, who lives in a town called Bedford Falls. As Bailey grows up, the audience follows him as he falls in love, runs a business and raises a family. At one point, he is confronted with a major problem and contemplates jumping from a bridge. That is when divine intervention occurs and Bailey, with the help of an angel working towards getting his wings, sees that life isn't so bad.

With performances by Jones as Mary Bailey, Hollie Farnbach as the budding angel Clarence, Eric Lopez as Mr. Potter, Peter Kowlaski as Uncle Billy, and all the other supporting cast members, the town of Bedford Falls came to life. Audience members laughed and clapped throughout the evening as the plot unfolded and one was heard saying, "This is good."

The designs used for this play were well-done and many props looked realistic.

"I have enormous respect for theater," Parsley said. "It's really awesome to see how everybody can come together. The director was great, the crew was great, my cast was great and the lights were great. It was just really awesome."

The play ends tonight at 7 p.m. at the Rosemont High School Theater, 9594 Keifer Blvd. Tickets are $8 and $4 for seniors. For tickets, call 916-228-5844.

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