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Hartford Stage is replacing one beloved holiday icon with another. It's taking a break from its annual production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and replacing it with playwright Joe Landry’s inventive stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s much beloved film classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” presented as a live radio broadcast.

Light bathes the stage at the opening of director Melia Benussen’s buoyant revival of Eugene O’Neill’s 1933 comedy “Ah, Wilderness!” at Hartford Stage.

One by one, the members of Bensussen’s ethnically diverse cast (that includes Black and Latina actors in a play that's historically been cast as a white/Irish family) make their way onto the stairs, landings, floors of James Noone’s airy, evocative setting.