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Bryan Cranston joins Annette Bening in 'It's a Wonderful Life'

November 23, 2011 |  6:00 am

Bryan Cranston will costar with Annette Bening in "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Geffen Playhouse

Bryan Cranston, the Emmy-winning star of AMC's "Breaking Bad," will take a brief hiatus from meth labs and shady dealings next month in order to tell a more wholesome story that the whole family can see.

Cranston will join Annette Bening in a stage version of "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Geffen Playhouse. The production will run for one day only, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are going for $69 to $93, and proceeds will benefit the Geffen Playhouse and the Actors Fund.

The Geffen's version of "It's a Wonderful Life" is a radio-play adaptation of the Frank Capra film written by Tony Palermo. (When Bening was announced for the play last month, the Geffen said it was using a version by Joe Landry, but this has changed.)

The cast also includes stage veterans Glenne Headly and Josh Stamberg. (Headly starred in the 1990 movie "Dick Tracy," directed by Warren Beatty, who is married to Bening.) A sound effects artist will also participate in the staging to create the atmosphere for the story.

Bening is playing the role of Mary, while the roles for the other actors will be announced later.

Bart DeLorenzo will direct the production. The Geffen said that pre-show entertainment will include an a cappella trio, the Chantilly Sisters, as well as a holiday-themed lobby.

Cranston has had a productive year on the screen. In addition to "Breaking Bad," he appeared in the movies "Drive," "Contagion" and "Larry Crowne."


Gil Cates dies at 77; producer, director and showman

Annette Bening in "It's a Wonderful Life" at Geffen Playhouse

Geffen's Frank Mancuso will replace Gil Cates during interim

-- David Ng

Photo: Bryan Cranston. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times