“It’s a Fabulous Life” Makes Virginia Premiere at RTP
There is nothing better than a classic Christmas story once the holidays roll around. These seasonal fables conjure up nostalgia of past winter gatherings with family and friends. But if you feel as though these seasonal stories have been missing something – something fabulous – then you’re in luck.
The Richmond Triangle Players are putting a spin on a time-honored holiday performance with their rendition of It’s a Fabulous Life.
“It’s a gay musical twist on the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life,” said Keith Fitzgerald, Director of the play and long time member of the Triangle Players.
It’s a Fabulous Life was written over a decade ago by a group of writers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Fitzgerald said. A second version of the performance found it’s way to Palm Springs. Now, the third adaptation of the script will find it’s home in Richmond starting this week.
The story follows Joe, a gay thespian who is working on a performance entitled “Randolph the Rainbow Reindeer” in a theater called the Lavender Players. While working on the performance Joe begins to struggle with his sexuality. Through dealings with his fellow cast members he is led to the hard decision of wishing he had never been born gay.
Soon after reaching this conclusion an angle named Author grants Joe this wish. Despite warnings from Author, Joe accepts the wish and lives out his life as a straight individual for a few days. After this experience he comes to realize being gay was a very important part of his identity.
“The thing that really made me want to be a part of it is it has so much heart, which I think some campy, more flamboyant pieces of theater are sometimes lacking heart,” said Fitzgerald.
A cast of eleven will be pouring their hearts out into this performance. With nine locals on cast, it is a very Richmond centric group. You’ll catch two VCU students and multiple vets from the Triangle Players on stage for the performance. They had the first read through at the end on September and have been preparing since.
“I have been very fortunate in having such a lovely group of people to work with,” said Fitzgerald. “The mutual respect and admiration we have for one another has definitely been an incredible piece of the puzzle for this show.”
Fitzgerald says the all-original musical score means this will be “a brand new musical for people to listen to.
“It has some really lovely music, some really great upbeat holiday styled songs, and some really beautiful love songs a ballads. The music is quite stunning,” said Fitzgerald.
It’s a Fabulous Life is putting on a low-priced preview of the show this Wednesday, with their opening night on Thursday. The play is running with shows Thursday-Saturday until December 14th; there are two Sunday matinees the first two weekends in December as well.
“I just want people to let go of their holiday chaos, enjoy the show, and learn something from it,” Fitzgerald said.
I am originally from a small town in North Carolina and have recently moved to Richmond. Meaning I am a novice to the ways of Richmond life, but from what I have seen it is a culturally rich environment that I look forward to diving into. My daily hustle consists of playing bass, reading, and hunting for new music. This summer I will be interning with RVA Magazine and GayRVA.com. In the fall I will be transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University where I will major in journalism.
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