Michael Holman gives a tour-de-force performance in Gallery 7 Theatre’s heart-warming production of This Wonderful Life directed by Langley’s Kate Muchmore Woo.(Dianna Lewis Photography/Special to Black Press Media)

Michael Holman gives a tour-de-force performance in Gallery 7 Theatre’s heart-warming production of This Wonderful Life directed by Langley’s Kate Muchmore Woo.(Dianna Lewis Photography/Special to Black Press Media)

Langley director hopes play will lift spirits this holiday season

Gallery 7 celebrates Christmas with theatrical take on classic It’s AWonderful Life

Langley’s Kate Muchmore Woo is heading up the first-ever full-staged Christmas production in Gallery 7’s history, starting next week.

The Abbotsford-based theatre group, which regularly gleans Langleyites for on and off stage duties, is preparing to raise the curtain on Steve Murray’s This Wonderful Life – a theatre take on the holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life.

Woo describes iti as a highly entertaining, inspiring, and heart-warming one-person homage to the classic holiday film.

It’s a special production sure to bring light and hope into the community,” she said, noting the show will be performed in-person at the Abbotsford Arts Centre and available online via livestream.

Described as ‘engagingly funny and then unexpectedly affecting’ by the San Francisco Chronicle, this stage production features one talented actor who expertly re-enacts the film, It’s a Wonderful Life, and embodies all the major characters including George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter and many others. This heart-warming movie tribute celebrates the power of community and the impact a hard-working man has on the lives of the people around him…oh, and also shows us how an angel gets his wings of course.

Fans of the film will revel in the play’s ability to capture all the key moments from the movie, said artistic director Ken Hildebrandt. “But you don’t have to necessarily know the film to really enjoy this unique stage adaptation.”

Performing all the characters in a tour-de-force performance not to be missed is Michael Holman, who has appeared on the Gallery 7 Theatre stage as James Keller in The Miracle Worker and as Potipher in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

“It’s a Wonderful Life is a movie that transcends time,” he said. “I hope you leave the performance knowing that even one life can touch so many others, and no one is a failure who has friends.”

Directing Holman in this often hilarious, yet touching production is Woo, a Trinity Western University theatre professor. She has directed a number of Gallery 7 productions, including Enchanted April, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Mousetrap.

“Goerge Bailey’s life did not go the way he expected it to,” Woo said.

PAST PRODUCTION: Empty nester moves onto the Gallery 7 stage in spirit-lifting production

“Yet, his story is not defined by uncertainty and powerlessness. Instead, his story is one of sacrifice, friendship, and overwhelming community. I hope this show will lift people’s spirits and give people hope as we journey in this wonderful life together.”

Supporting Woo in staging This Wonderful Life is set, projection, and sound designer Andrew Potts, costume designer Dani DeJong, props designer Courtney Smith, lighting designer Ken Hildebrandt, and sound and make-up designer Charlene Crawford. The stage manager is Des Hale and the production photographer is Dianna Lewis.

This Wonderful Life runs Dec. 10 and 11, as well as Dec. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 11 and 18 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre, 2329 Crescent Way.

Tickets for Zone A seating are $30/adults, $28/seniors and students, and $12/children (12 and younger). Tickets for Zone B seating and for livestream performances are $25/adults, $2/seniors and students, and $12/children.

To order tickets or for more information on the show or the theatre’s “health and wellness” protocols, people can visit www.gallery7theatre.com or call 604-504-5940.

RELATED: Abbotsford’s Gallery 7 Theatre offers local works and clean comedy for virtual season

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Langley’s Kate Muchmore Woo is directing the latest Gallery 7 production, It’s A Wonderful Life. (Special to Black Press Media)

Langley’s Kate Muchmore Woo is directing the latest Gallery 7 production, It’s A Wonderful Life. (Special to Black Press Media)