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A wonderful adaptation

"It's a little more informed, just being older," he said of his performance. "I'm George's age now."

The stage production includes musical numbers, including a rousing version of the dance, the Charleston.

"It's huge," said Booth. "Forty-two people jumping around on the stage doing the Charleston. It's a lot of energy."

His favorite moments in the play are the "indulgent ones," said Booth. Those are the ones that piece everything together. One is when George's daughter Zuzu, played by 6-year-old Sophie Whiteman, says "every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."

"And I just look at that little girl and say, 'I hope so,'" said Booth. "He's so grateful that he's back," he said of his character. "And he hopes that the angel gets his wish too."

Working with child actors is wonderful, said DiBenedetto Snyder.

"They're quick and they're eager and they're so excited about the show," she said. "For me, the holidays are about that, about the children."

DiBenedetto Snyder shows her commitment to children at the holidays by giving away tickets to the Northeast Parent and Child Society, for children residing at the center as well as children in foster homes to come with their foster parents. Believing that theatre is an instrument of hope, and she also believes in the theme of the play.

"This community pulls together to help George Bailey," said DiBenedetto Snyder. "A Wonderful Life" sets an example of concentrating on the positives and of the timeless message that it is better to give than receive, she says.

"I feel that if more people in this world would do that with one another, we'd have a better world," she said.

Many shows are sold out, but remaining tickets can be purchased at the NYSTI box office 274-3256 or online (www.nysti.org).""

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