NOVEMBER 14, 2019 – JANUARY 4, 2020
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO!
THE CHICAGO ORIGINAL – Joseph Jefferson Award nominated production & Ensemble
Based on the film by: Frank Capra
Directed by: Gwendolyn Whiteside*
Music directed: Michael Mahler*
Original score by: Austin Cook*
This is the second longest-running holiday play in Chicago! For 18 years, the American Blues Ensemble has treated Chicago audiences to 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. To learn more, read our Artistic Director’s note and Backstage Guide.
*Ensemble member or Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theater
Nov 14 – Jan 4
(773) 654-3103 box office
- Thursday: 7:30pm
- Friday: 7:30pm
- Saturday: 4:30pm & 7:30pm
- Sunday: 2:30pm
Additional show on 11/29 @ 4:30pm, 12/8 @ 6:00pm
No show on 11/16 @ 4:30pm, 11/23 @ 7:30pm Thanksgiving Day, 12/8 @ 2:30pm, or 1/4 @ 7:30pm
Learn more about our Relaxed / Sensory-Friendly show on Dec. 1
- Duration: Runs 90 minutes; no intermission
- Location: Stage 773 at 1225 W Belmont Ave
- Ticket price: $19-$69
- Recommended for ages 6+
- Arrive 10 minute early for prizes and audiograms
- Holiday events: Children 12 & under receive keepsakes on Dec 21 @ 4:30 (Santa visits) & Dec 28 (Hanukkah).
Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for production and Ensemble
Seen & heard on ABC, CBS, NBC, WGN, FOX, WXRT, WBEZ, WBBM, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine, Newcity, Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago, Windy City Times, and many more!
Dean Richards recommended
“Holiday favorite – makes the bell ring every time.” – Chicago Tribune
“Tried & true.” – Chicago Sun Times
“This show nourished me in a way no other play has. American Blues Theater gave me a profound lesson in generosity.” – PerformInk
“More than a play, it’s an incredible experience! Don’t leave this off your must see list!” – Newcity
“Blues brings the holiday magic we’ve all been missing.” – Chicagoland Musical Theatre
“American Blues Theater’s production would’ve made Mr. Capra proud.” – Chicago Theatre Review
“Undeniable charm!” – Time Square Chronicles
“Immersive experience.” – Third Coast Review
“Incredible cast!” – Let’s Play
“This radio play is sure to lift your spirits!” – Picture this Post
“Life-changing experience” – Chicago Now
CAST (in alphabetical order): Dara Cameron* (Violet), Ian Paul Custer* (Harry), Brandon Dahlquist (George Bailey), Shawn Goudie* (Foley), James Joseph* (Uncle Billy), Michael Mahler* (Announcer/Pianist), John Mohrlein* (Clarence/Mr. Potter), and Gwendolyn Whiteside* (Mary Bailey).
PRODUCTION TEAM: Gwendolyn Whiteside* (director), Michael Mahler* (music director & jingle composer), Austin Cook* (score composer), Grant Sabin* (scenic), Katy Peterson Viccellio (lighting), Christopher J. Neville* (costumes), Keegan Bradac (sound), Elyse Dolan* (set dressing & props), Paul Deziel* (projections), Shandee Vaughan* (production & stage manager).
We raise awareness of other non-profit organizations’ great causes through creative collaborations. For this production, we support and partner with the USO, U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs, Chicago Public Schools, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. We continue our “Pediatric Previews” that donates proceeds of preview performances to children’s hospitals.
MORE INFORMATION ON IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO!
Incredible response for 2019’s “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!”
Rave Reviews for IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO!
Read the incredible response to our annual hit.
Learn about our free audience engagement events for audiences of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!
Community Service for IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO!
Learn about audience engagement events. Read about free events for audiences of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO!
Backstage Guide for IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO!
Inside look at IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO! – read interviews, see designs, & learn more about the production.
About IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO! Artists
Read the biographies of our incredible artists.
Nominate your beloved active or Veteran military personnel, including ROTC, for a “Soldier Spotlight”.
Artistic Director’s Note for IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO!
This story reminds us of the fragility of life. Frank Capra’s lines – “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – resonates throughout the year.
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