For some reason, holiday stories have this tendency to be simultaneously bleak and sentimental, entertaining dark themes before the central character conquers cynicism and turns it all around — usually with the help of some supernatural element. The ones that immediately come to mind are "A Christmas Carol" and "It's a Wonderful Life." The latter story, first introduced to audiences with the 1946 Frank Capra film starring James Stewart, will be presented for one performance this week at Nazareth College. Central to the story is George Bailey, a family man who is desperately frustrated with his life and plans to end it. His guardian angel steps in to show him an alternate reality in which he never existed. The four-person Immediate Theatre Project will present the story as a play-within-a-play, performing as the members of WVL Radio Theatre try to present "It's a Wonderful Life" live on-air during a Christmas Eve blizzard.
Saturday, December 7, at 8 p.m. Callahan Theater, Nazareth College Arts Center, 4245 East Avenue. $25-$50. 389-2170; artscenter.naz.edu.