It’s just an act

I had an absolute ball performing in The New Mercury Theatre of Indiana‘s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” radio-style play at the Edinburgh Pixy Theatre Dec. 13-14 in beautiful downtown Edinburgh, Indiana.

I was fortunate enough to be joined by lots of great talent. And the fact that everyone was so wonderful to be around made it that much more satisfying. I played Uncle Billy, a kind but mistake-prone old fool who loses $8,000 of his company’s money; Sam Wainwright (HEE-HAW), and a shareholder by the name of Eddy. Perhaps you’ve seen the 1946 movie with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. It IS considered a classic, you know.

It was especially fun acting with my wife, Kimberly Hoffman, who played town tart Violet Bick, as well as two other roles. I gotta tell you., that tarty role was a stretch for Kimberly, but she pulled it off.

The play was directed and produced by Bill Dever. I’ve now been in two of his movies and four of his plays, and he hasn’t fired me yet! Maybe that’s because I have yet to need to memorize lines. 

The New Mercury Theatre of Indiana has been putting on radio-style plays in this area. I have been in a couple Pappy Wilson shows at The Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin, Indiana. In those, I reviewed movies as Homer Portnoy, a sort of hickish feller. I’m looking forward to playing a part in some of Bill’s future en-Devers. 

Below is the cast list and lots of photos that were taken by various people in the cast and audience. Many of us played multiple roles:

GEORGE BAILEY Dreamer/Loan Officer (male) JERRY BEASLEY
CLARENCE Angel, Second Grade (male) KEVIN BELL
MARY HATCH BAILEY George’s Wife/Librarian (female) ALENA VANARENDONK
SUPERINTENDENT Boss of Angels (male/female) ROB ERVIN
UNCLE BILLY Absent-minded clerk (male) PAUL HOFFMAN
MR. POTTER Warped, old financier (male) JOE LAWSON
MA BAILEY George’s mother (female) JUDY CRIPPIN
OFFICER BERT Local policeman (male) PHIL MIKESELL
ERNIE Cab driver (male)ROB ERVIN
NICK Ornery shareholder/bartender ROB ERVIN
POP BAILEY George’s father (male) JAMES HARDIN
SAM WAINWRIGHT Successful businessman (male) PAUL HOFFMAN
GOWER Pharmacist (male/female) PHIL MIKESELL
MRS. HATCH Mary’s mother (female) DEBI ROBERT
HARRY BAILEY George’s younger brother NATHAN BECHTOLD
MARTINI Italian café owner (male/female) NATHAN BECHTOLD
CHARLIE Difficult shareholder (male/female) ROB ERVIN
TILLY Loan office clerk (female) DEBI ROBERT
TOLL-TAKER Toll-taker (male/female) JAMES HARDIN
ZUZU BAILEY Girl, age 5 (female) DEBI ROBERT
DR. CAMPBELL Board President (male/female) JAMES HARDIN
MR. WELCH Irate husband (male) JNATHNA BECTHOLD
BANK TELLER Bank clerk (male/female) JUDY CRIPPIN
EUSTACE Loan office clerk (male/female) ROB ERVIN
CARTER Bank Examiner (male/female) PHIL MIKESELL
PETEY BAILEY Boy, age 9 (male/female) NATHAN BECHTOLD
MRS. DAVIS Shareholder (female) JUDY CRIPPIN
NOSEY NEIGHBOR Nosey neighbor (male/female) JAMES HARDIN
RANDY Shareholder (male/female) ROB ERVIN
EDDY Shareholder (male) PAUL HOFFMAN
SHERIFF County Sheriff (male/female) JAMES HARDIN
And of Course as always Jimmy The Crow, JAMES HARDIN


Alena making art during a break in the action
Paul and Kimberly
Phil, Bill and Rob
Coverage in the Daily Journal
Paul, Jerry, Kevin and Nathan
Kevin and Jerry doing their part
Paul, James, Judy, Jerry
Jerry and Kevin
Jerry, Kevin, Kimberly, James, Bill and Nathan
Kimberly, Alena, Debi, Paul and Rob (background)
Nathan, Alena, Paul, Debi
Nathan and Jerry
Nathan, Jerry, Kevin, James
Nathan, Bill, Phil
The Pixy Theatre (exterior)
Play poster
Joe and Jerry
Rob and Nathan
Paul. Kimberly, James, Jerry, Judy
Promo tickets
Paul, Kimberly, Debi and Jerry
Pixy Theatre dressed up for Christmas

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