A Wonderful Life is a stage musical based on the 1946 film of the same name.

Cast

1986 Michigan Premiere

2005 Concert Cast

Plot

As a child, George risked his own life to save his brother from drowning. As he grew older, his countless small deeds mattered very much in the lives of the Bedford Falls townspeople. George prepares to leave town and go to college to fulfill his dream of building skyscrapers. However, when his father, the president of the small Bailey Building and Loan Company, dies, George postpones his dreams, manages the family company, and finds happiness in his marriage to Mary Hatch. When Uncle Billy accidentally misplaces company funds, George faces financial ruin and almost certain imprisonment. Seeing no way out, he runs to the bridge over the river, prepared to plunge to his death.

Enter Clarence, George's lovable, bumbling guardian angel, who has come to Bedford Falls to prove to George that his life is worth living and to earn wings for himself. He grants George one wish: to see what the world would be like if he had never been born. Suddenly Bedford Falls is a very unpleasant place: the bustling small town main street is lined with pool halls and saloons; none of his friends or family recognize him, not even his beloved wife, Mary, who, in this world without him, is a prim spinster. Pursued by police, George returns to the bridge and begs to have his life back. Clarence grants it and George runs home to find his children, his wife, and a town that rallies to support him. Finally, George comes to realize…it truly is a wonderful life.

Musical numbers

Act I
  • "George’s Prayer" - George, Harry, Potter, Sam and Ensemble
  • "This Year Europe" - George and the Ensemble
  • "One of the Lucky Ones/Can You Find Me a House" - Tom and George
  • "In a State" - Sam
  • "A Wonderful Life" - Sam, M.C., George, Mary and Ensemble
  • "If I Had a Wish" - George and Mary
  • "One of the Lucky Ones" (Reprise) - George, Tom and the Ensemble
  • "Wings" - Clarence, Joseph and the Ensemble
  • "Ruth/On To Pittsburg" - Harry and George
  • "Good Night" - George and Mary
  • "Not What I Expected" - Mary, George and the Ensemble
  • "Panic at the Loan Building" - George, Billy and the Ensemble
  • "A Wonderful Life" (Reprise) - Mary and George

Act II

  • "Can You Find Me a House" - (Reprise) - Ensemble
  • "When You Own Your Own Home" - Dominick, Paul, Anthony, Mr. Martini and Ensemble
  • "First Class All the Way" - Mr. Potter
  • "I Couldn’t Be with Anyone but You" - Mary
  • "Welcome a Hero" - Ensemble
  • "Christmas Gifts" - Beth and Tommy
  • "Precious Little" - George
  • "George's Prayer" (Reprise) - George
  • "Unborn Sequence" - George, Clarence, Uncle Billy, Mr. Martin, Ernie, Violet, Matt, Mary, Milly and Ensemble
  • "A Wonderful Life (second reprise) - George
  • "Welcome the Hero (reprise) - Ensemble
  • "Finale: Christmas Gifts" - Zuzu, Beth, Tommy and Company
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