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  • Carrie Specht

Ed Asner Family Center Presents a Celebrity Table Read of It's a Wonderful Life

Prepare your favorite holiday spirit, grab some snacks, and curl up on your sofa to experience a magical holiday event as the the Ed Asner Family Center presents a star-studded cast to perform a virtual table read of the beloved Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life. The one-night-only presentation in partnerrhip with TCM is hosted by Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars) and features a great line-up of stars including recent emmy winner Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso), sci-fi icon Mark Hamill (Star Wars), voice over artist Phil Lamarr (Futurama, Family Guy), Hollywood legend Martin Sheen (West Wing), Turner Classic Movies night time host Ben Mankiewicz, and more!



As a virtual event, viewers will experience a more intimate production than one set at the Holliwood Bowl or other traditional venue. There's also the added bonus of unlimited "seating" and isolated close-ups of the performers delivering the familiar lines of a holiday staple. I anticipate the warm sensation of a family gathering with all my favorite relatives playing the various roles. And I can't help wonder who will be cast as who? I'm guessing "grandpa" Martin will be mean old Mr. Potter, our "brother" Jason will play the beleaguered George, "uncle" Mandy will give his all as uncle Billy, "cousin" Phil will stand in as war hero Harry, and our "sister" Rosario will fittingly fulfill the role of the devoted Mary. Although, I can see it cast completely differently as well, so I'm not prepared to place odds in Vegas.


With the passing of the seven-time emmy winner (Mary Tylor Moore, Lou Grant, Roots), the now annual event benefits the late actor's charitable foundation that helps families with special needs, particulalry those with neurodivergent families. The center offers arts programs after school and on the weekends as well as counseling and mindfulness classes. As the parent and grand parent of children with autism, Asner joined forces with his daughter-in-law Navah Paskowitz-Asner in founding The Ed Asner Family Center. Paskowitz-Asner is a spokesperson and advocate for special needs families whose goal is to support the neurodivergent family, providing health, healing and community at low to no-cost. It's core mission is truly one that resonates throughout the educational system and the fsmilys that struggle to work with an antiquated system.


Although type-cast in roles as a tough, robust and uncompromising authority figures, the heavy-set and distinctively gravelly-voiced Asner has always been known off screen for his heart of gold. He also happily identified as a controversial figure, activist and campaigner engaged in a variety of humanitarian and political issues which inevitably benefitted from his bondless passion for helping others. It is honor of his legacy that the night will also celebrate the late actor's life, his many accomplishments, his philanthropic work, his decades of performances, and his impact on generations of fans and volunters alike.


With the holidays upon us I belive this presentation will be a great addition to anyone's list of festive activities. The added bonus is that the purchase of every ticket will go toward a very worthy cause, and gift giving is one of the emothional adages of this time of year. Get your reservation for It's a Wonderful Life Star-Studded Zoom Virtual Table Read soon. There are multiple levels of perks depending on the amount of your donation. You won't miss out getting a ticket, but you may miss out on some cool swag that's only available as supplies last.