Here’s a reason to leave the Broadway scene and fly across country: For one night only, L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse will host a staged reading of Frank Capra‘s holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. The 1946 film–listed as one of AFI’s “100 Best American Films Ever Made”– is such a Christmas staple that it’s hard to imagine someone other than Jimmy Stewart playing the hapless and kindhearted banker George Bailey. But the production really nailed it with their casting, announced today:New York native Peter “My Face is Smiling But My Eyebrows Tell a Darker Story” Gallagher.
Considering the other male lead in this stage adaptation is Bryan Cranston, you have to wonder why Peter “Remember How I was Creepier than James Spader In Sex Lies and Videotape?” Gallagher snagged the lead over the Breaking Bad star. We know that Mr. Cranston can do the Bailey’s conflicting emotions of simultaneously confused, suicidal, and goofy: just look at him as the dad as Malcolm in the Middle.
Annette Bening will also costar as Mrs. Mary Bailey, proving that in an alternate universe, Carolyn Burnham finally got her King of Real Estate.
It’s a Wonderful Life, adapted by Tony Palermo and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, set for Dec. 10 at the Gil Cates Theater.