American Blues Theater to present It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!
American Blues Theater marks its return to live, in-person theater with its 20th Annual Production of It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! from Frank Capra's film and directed by Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside with musical direction by Ensemble Member Michael Mahler. It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! will run November 26 - December 31, 2021 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln Avenue.
George Bailey, the Everyman from small town Bedford Falls whose dreams of escape and adventure were stopped by family obligation and civic duty, has fallen onto desperate times. Only a miracle can save him from despair. Filled with original music and classic holiday carols, this critically acclaimed, warm "holiday favorite makes the bell ring every time." (Chicago Tribune) For 20 years, American Blues has treated audiences to a live retelling of the Frank Capra classic in a 1940s radio broadcast tradition, making It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! the second longest-running holiday play in Chicago!
Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside comments, "We have so many milestones to celebrate with this year's production of It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! This year marks American Blues' 20th annual production of this holiday favorite, as well as John Mohrlein's 20th turn as "Clarence" and "Mr. Potter." It feels so fitting that the first show we welcome audiences back to experience is one that means so much to the entire American Blues Theater family. We can't wait to see everyone!"
The cast of It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! includes Audrey Billings* (Mary Bailey), Manny Buckley* (Joseph), Dara Cameron* (Violet), Yuchi Chiu (Harry), Brandon Dalquist (George Bailey), Shawn J. Goudie* (Foley), Michael Mahler* (Announcer / Pianist), and John Mohrlein* (Clarence/Mr. Potter), Joe Dempsey* (U/S Clarence/Mr. Potter), and Gwendolyn Whiteside* (Mary Bailey, 12/29 & 12/31).
The creative team includes Grant Sabin* (Scenic Designer), Christopher J. Neville* (Costume Designer), Katy Peterson Viccellio (Lighting Designer), Rick Sims* (Sound Designer), Elyse Dolan* (Set Dressing / Props Designer), and Shandee Vaughan* (production & stage manager).