Rogue Machine presents This Wonderful Life

Dec 1, 2021
This Wonderful Life in LA

Rogue Machine brings Frank Capra's iconic holiday film, "It's a Wonderful Life," to the stage in This Wonderful Life, a hilarious and heartwarming one-person show starring Leo Marks. Part fan frenzy and part tour-de-force, it's a celebration of cinematic storytelling and the differences, big and small, that one person can make in the lives of others.

"It's A Wonderful Life" is the only movie I've seen more than 40 times, says Artistic Director John Perrin Flynn. "I couldn't resist the sheer joy of watching the amazing Leo Marks transform from Mr. Potter to Clarence to George in the blink of the eye. And, like the film, this play captures the hope we all have in ourselves that we can be better. This seems like a perfect time to reimagine that hope."

Steve Murray (Playwright) is known for his musicals and plays which have been performed in all 50 of the United States as well as in Canada, China, Japan, Australia, Hungary, Singapore, Germany, Malta, The Netherlands, and South Africa. Additionally, he is a composer, lyricist, and performing arts educator from Massachusetts. Steve's nationally produced plays include This Passion Thing, Hungry to Bed, Cupid's Bones, Body Politic, Lost, Rogue, Rescue & Recovery, The Algae Eaters, and Manna. His musical, Tortoise vs. Hare, was a recipient of the Anna Zornio Memorial Children's Theatre Playwriting Award. Musical! The Bard is Back! won the Jackie White Memorial National Children's Play Writing Contest, and has the distinction of being the first musical to receive this award.

Director Drew Barr was Resident Director for War Horse on Broadway at Lincoln Center. He directed the Dutch-language premiere of the National Theatre of London's War Horse before directing the Australian premiere in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Drew served as associate director for Nicholas Hytner's Broadway productions of Sweet Smell of Success and Twelfth Night, as well as for Simon McBurney's Broadway revival of All My Sons and The Kid Stays in the Picture at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Off-Broadway, Drew directed the premieres of Neal Brennan's one man show, 3 Mics, Adam Bock's The Typographer's Dream and Karl Gajdusek's Greedy, as well as revivals and new plays for such companies as TACT, Clubbed Thumb and Page 73. He has directed for regional theaters and actor-training programs across the country. As an actor, Drew's stage credits include the Broadway premiere of Wendy Wasserstein's, An American Daughter.

"Like many others, I imagine, I owe my love of 'It's A Wonderful Life' to the fluke of fate that allowed the film's copyright to lapse in the 1970s. I distinctly remember watching back-to-back-to-back-to-back screenings of the film over a 24-hour period, with each viewing deepening my admiration and appreciation of the piercing humanity of the film and its performances," says director Drew Barr. "Steve Murray's This Wonderful Life not only celebrates the great gift of this once nearly-forgotten film, but also affords us an opportunity to explore the profound and poignant connection between memory, empathy, and consciousness-a connection that neuroscience has yet to fully understand, but is part of what makes theater so important in our lives."