Welcome to American Blues Theater’s 32nd Season “The Beat Goes On”.  For over three decades, our Ensemble has told stories of the American identity.  We are thrilled to present the Chicago premiere of This Wonderful Life starring Founding Ensemble member James Leaming.

Since 2002, our company has produced It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!  We’ve played four different theaters (a refurbished warehouse on Byron Ave, Biograph Theater, Greenhouse Theater, and currently Stage 773).  Over 50,000 patrons have experienced our holiday favorite.  From 2002-2007, James Leaming played the iconic role of “George Bailey” with charm, sincerity, and compassion.

In 2008, James Leaming left our production to star in the solo production, This Wonderful Life.  From 2008-2017, Jim toured the United States with this warmhearted adaptation, playing Asolo Repertory Theatre (FL), Syracuse Stage (NY), Cleveland Playhouse (OH), Laguna Playhouse (CA), North Coast Repertory Theater (CA), and numerous locations in Colorado.  His performance earned him many fans and accolades along the way – “Best Actor, Sarasota Magazine”, “Best Play, Sarasota Magazine”, and “Outstanding Solo Performance, Craig Noel Award” nomination by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.

It’s been 10 years since Chicago experienced our original “George Bailey”. We’re excited to share this limited engagement with you.

Our annual production of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! (the 1940s radio play) runs Nov. 16 – Jan. 6 at Stage 773. More information can be found here.

-Gwendolyn Whiteside

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