STONEHAM -- In 1946, Frank Capra directed James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life, a movie that went on to become one of the great holiday classics of all time.

This holiday season, Stoneham Theatre brings the story of George Bailey and his battles with skinflint Potter to life on stage with performances Friday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, Dec. 23.

The timing couldn't be better, says producing artistic director Weylin Symes.

"It's a beautiful, timeless story, and I think many people can relate to it in these tough economic times," he said. "Sometimes, it's easy to focus on the negative. I want people to sit back and think about everything in life that truly is wonderful."

Tickets $40-$48. Friday, Nov. 23, is pay-what-you-can-night. 781-279-2200 or www.stonehamtheatre.org.

On the marquee

SUGARPLUMS: Commonwealth Ballet presents The Nutcracker at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Charter Road, Acton, on Friday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 24, at 1 and 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m. Performances also Dec. 7-9 at Regis College, Weston. $20-$35 at 978-263-7794 or www.commonwealthballet.org.

HOLIDAY BENEFIT: Cannon Theatre, 410 Great Road, Littleton, presents A Christmas Carol Radio Show and Benefit on Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15, at 1 and 7:30 p.m. to raise funds for recent renovations. 978-456-0060 or www.thecannontheatre.org.

SISTER, SISTER: Tickets are on sale now for Sister Act, the musical based on the Whoopi Goldberg movie, playing Boston's Opera House, Jan. 22-Feb. 3. Starting at $33 at 800-982-2787 or www.BroadwayInBoston.com.

Nancye Tuttle's email is nancyedt@verizon.net.