By Kim Lux
The holidays are here — and one North East resident is inviting the community to come hear a retelling of an iconic Christmas movie.
Ken Falkenhagen will be performing “This Wonderful Life: A One Man Show” from Dec. 6 to Dec. 8 at the North Eat Arts Council building, 25 Vine St. The performance is based on Frank Capra’s classic holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
“This is my fourth season doing the show,” Falkenhagen said. “It’s a whole new telling of an iconic story.
“I play 31 different characters,” he explained. “I play everyone from George Bailey, to Zuzu and Annie the maid. There are characters with just one line and I play them, too.”
Falkenhagen said the performance is a unique way to introduce people to the film.
“It’s a nice way to introduce kids to the movie,” he said. “It’s me telling the story,” he said. “It’ll start out pretty tongue and cheek in the beginning. But once we get into the meat of the story, it becomes a real exploration of feelings.
“To me, the show isn’t about Christmas,” Falkenhagen added. “It’s about all the days in between. We spend so much time worrying about the expectations of Christmas that we forget the true meaning. In a world like today, we need a 1940s George Bailey Christmas.”
Falkenhagen has been performing in the Erie area for decades.
“I’ve been performing since I was 17 or 18,” he said. “I wanted to be a mathematics major, but I always loved performing. So, I switched my major to theater and communication arts and I’ve been involved in performing arts, in one way or another, ever since. I love performing, I love telling stories, it’s what keeps me going.”
He added that what he loves most about “This Wonderful Life: A One Man Show” is that it’s unexpected.
“I love the novelty of a one-man movie or theater that isn’t supposed to be that way,” he said. “The weird juxtaposition of things that don’t make sense is great. This is the only one-man show I do right now, but I’d love to adapt other movies into one man shows.”
While he’s been performing the one-man show for years, Falkenhagen is excited to bring it home to North East.
“I haven’t done the show in North East yet, but I’m really excited,” he said. “It’s a nice addition to Sugar Plum weekend. I think it’ll bring people to North East.”
“This Wonderful Life: A One Man Show” has been so successful, Falkenhagen will be taking it on the road this holiday season.
“It’s a show that’s small enough to do anywhere,” he said. “The idea has always been to tour. I’ll be in Pittsburgh and Detroit along with the shows in North East.”
Tickets for the show can be purchased online at www.thiswonderfullife.weebly.com or at the door. Admission is $12, but North East Arts Council members will receive a $2 discount.
Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and the show will begin at 8 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 8, doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the show starts at 3 p.m.