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 (coming soon).

*Ensemble member or Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theater

PERFORMANCE INFO

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).

REVIEWS

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

“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
“Holiday favorite – makes the bell ring every time.” – Chicago Tribune
“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
“Life-changing experience” – Chicago Now

 

ARTISTS

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).

COMMUNITY SERVICE

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!

Soldier Spotlight

Soldier Spotlight

Nominate your beloved active or Veteran military personnel, including ROTC, for a “Soldier Spotlight”.

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