Welcome to American Blues Theater! We are so honored to share our home with you.

You’re watching this production from within a redeveloped building. Last year, this brick box was a Dollar Store; before that, it stood as a Walgreens; and in the 1950s – a Mobile Gas Station, serving the salesforce along Highway 41 into downtown Chicago.

Today, it proudly stands as a non-profit theater that champions all American identities with particular roots in the working class – the blue collars.

We open our permanent home with this joyous holiday tradition It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! It’s the perfect example of our work. Over the years, we’ve delighted nearly 70,000 people and featured the talents of 50+ Ensemble members and Artistic Affiliates. We’ve performed in numerous venues, changing our sets, light plots, and jingles to our environs. Regardless where we performed, the story’s themes are timeless and universal. However, this year, it feels more intimate to us. We hear the lines of dialogue anew.

We tell this story because we find comfort in the annual reminders –

to value kindness,

to support our communities,

to uplift others,

to caution against greed,

and to protect those struggling with despair.

This story also reminds us of the fragility of life. Capra’s brilliant sentiment – “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – hits our souls deeper this time of year.

For many of you, attending our production is a family tradition. For others, we’re thrilled to share this story for the first time in our own special, heartfelt way. Your gracious spirits and open hearts are equally important to this Chicago tradition. Your presence is a gift to the Blues family.

– Gwendolyn Whiteside

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