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  It's A Wonderful Life: Live At The Biograph at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph

It's A Wonderful Life: Live At The Biograph

Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph
2433 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago

From the original director and Ensemble that brought this holiday tradition to Chicago since 2004. Join the American Blues family as we take you back to a 1940s radio broadcast of Frank Capra’s holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with live Foley sound effects, an original score, and a stellar cast of seven that bring the entire town of Bedford Falls to life. From the moment you walk through the doors, you will be transported back to the Golden Age of Radio, and experience the story of George Bailey like never before. Critics called this production “perfect Christmas theater” and “first-class holiday fare.”

Thru - Dec 31, 2011



Price: $25-$50

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-871-3000

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins; one intermission

www.americanbluestheater.com


Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Seating Chart


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  It's A Wonderful Life: Live At The Biograph Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Marty Higginbotham's versatile cast includes Kevin Kelly as George Bailey, the despondent home builder originated onscreen by Jimmy Stewart, and John Mohrlein, who makes the most of the radio format as both angel-in-training Clarence and the villainous Mr. Potter"
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Dan Jakes


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"... Filled with a sharp and versatile cast including the veteran John Mohrlein as the villain Mr. Potter , American Blues Theater continues to please with their annual radioplay telling ofCapra’s holiday classic. This truthful format – a live radioshow -totally engages audiencesintothestory. The performances are honest and thorough. You’ll feel at home at the Biograph’s upstairs theater and you’ll experience being an interactive audience for a radioshow.sotake your family backto the 1940′s to help Clarence, the angel, get his wings. The tradition is living wellon Lincoln Avenue."
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Tom Williams


Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"... The list of characters definitely breaks the twenty-plus mark and the list is spilt up among seven of ABT’s finest. Director Marty Higginbotham has a thorough grasp on his cast who deliver an excellent performance with some of the most gifted voice acting I’ve ever seen. Of course no radio play is complete without sound effects and Shawn J. Goudie’s quick hands deliver a confident punch of sound. Anyone who enjoys Frank Capra’s classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” will find holiday joy in American Blues Theater’ clever radio-style production, which triumphs as the crown-jewel of the holiday season."

Tyler Tidmore


Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Under the direction of Marty Higginbotham, the show is a tight 90 minutes. The lyrical pacing glides as the talented cast use multiple voices to tell the story. In particular, John Mohrlein displays in impressive range from crotchety Palmer to adorable Clarence. Kevin R. Kelly endears as the earnest hero fallen into suicidal despair. Kelly pulls at the heartstrings in his transformational moment. I know it’s coming but I spontaneously tear up anyway. Playing his mother and his lover, Gwendolyn Whiteside turns on and off the sex appeal. In the pivotal phone scene, Kelly and Whiteside emit sparks into flames. For a radio show, there is still plenty of palpable visuals. I especially enjoyed watching and listening to Zachary Kenney. His face morphs to match his diction: bright-eyed kid to corner-of-the-mouth-talking bartender."
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Katy Walsh


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... While there are several productions of this story, I find myself brought back to the American Blues Theater Company’s version, which they do in the smaller studio ( Richard Christiansen Theater) at The Biograph,Victory Gardens on Lincoln Avenue.Under the direction of Marty Higginbotham, we the audience are brought into the radio studio (Grant Sabin’s set is perfect) to witness a live broadcast to Chicago on AM Radio. The time is the 1940′s, a time when radio was king in reaching large audiences and storytelling was one of America’s greatest diversions. When we enter the theater, actors come by and speak to us,ask us to fill out little memo-grams with messages that we want to send out to those at home and in general prepare for their performance."
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Alan Bresloff


Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...At this time of year, when holiday cheer is fairly forced into our living rooms, our commutes, and our everyday interactions, it’s a welcome change to revisit the story of one man’s struggle to do the best he can with what he’s got, and that acknowledges the hard times that we all face. This holiday season in particular, that’s a refreshing message to see onstage."

J.H. Palmer


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