The Beat Goes On
NOVEMBER 2 – NOVEMBER 26, 2017
Written by: Steve Murray
Directed by: Carmen Roman*
Starring: James Leaming*
Founding Ensemble member and Chicago’s original “George Bailey” James Leaming inhabits every role in this hilariously touching stage adaptation of the iconic holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, and the gang come to life as a single actor creates a heartwarming story about the effect one hardworking man’s life has on the people around him.
NOVEMBER 16, 2017 – JANUARY 6, 2018
THE CHICAGO ORIGINAL
Based on the film by: Frank Capra
Directed by: Gwendolyn Whiteside*
Music direction by: Michael Mahler*
For 16 years, the American Blues Ensemble has treated Chicago audiences to a live 1940s radio broadcast. The incredible cast recreates the entire town of Bedford Falls with Foley sound effects, an original score, and holiday carols. Critics call this “perfect Christmas theater” and “first-class holiday fare”. After each performance, milk and cookies are served by the cast.
FEBRUARY 16 – MARCH 24, 2018
Written by: Keith Huff
Directed by: Gary Griffin
Penned by Emmy Award nominee Keith Huff (Broadway’s A Steady Rain) and directed by Gary Griffin (Broadway’s The Color Purple): late one night, two burnt-out violent crimes unit detectives try their damnedest to close the puzzling murder of a CTA employee. What should be a simple open-and-shut case, however, evolves into a horrifying mystery and unearths a legacy of violence stretching back years.
APRIL 27 – MAY 26, 2018
Written by: Alan Janes
Directed by: Lili-Anne Brown
Music directed by: Michael Mahler*
Before the Beatles or the Rolling Stones ever played a note, rock & roll was forever changed by the bespectacled kid from Texas. Buddy tells the true story of Buddy Holly through his short – yet spectacular – career and features the classic songs “That’ll be the Day”, “Peggy Sue”, and the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace”, Richie Valens’s “La Bamba”, plus many more.
JULY 7 – AUGUST 5, 2017
Written by: Dael Orlandersmith
Directed by: Ron OJ Parson
This Obie Award-winning play by Dael Orlandersmith depicts one woman’s journey through life’s obstacles in an East Harlem neighborhood. Artistic Affiliate Wandachristine takes on 6 characters during the course of this solo play – some broken, some on the way down, and all memorable. The New York Times hails this script as “wholly original and riveting”.
* Ensemble member or Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theater