Photo Flash: American Blues Theater Presents IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO

By: Nov. 20, 2018
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American Blues Theater continues its 2018-2019 Season with its 17th 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! runs November 15, 2018 - January 5, 2019 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago.

As the second-longest holiday play in Chicago, the American Blues Ensemble treats Chicago audiences to a live 1940s radio broadcast of holiday favorite It's a Wonderful Life for the 17th year. The incredible cast recreates the entire town of Bedford Falls with Foley sound effects, an original score and holiday carols. The Bedford Falls "residents" extend their hospitality after every performance when audiences are treated to milk and cookies served by the cast.

"This story is a staple of our mission: American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves," notes Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside. "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. During the holidays, it becomes a poignant reminder as we gather with our loved ones."

The cast of It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! includes Brandon Dahlquist (George Bailey), Dara Cameron* (Violet), Ian Paul Custer* (Harry), Matt Edmonds (Announcer/Pianist), Shawn Goudie* (Foley), James Joseph* (Uncle Billy), John Mohrlein* (Clarence/Mr. Potter), and Camille Robinson* (Mary Bailey).

The creative team includes Austin Cook* (score composer), Grant Sabin* (scenic), Christopher J. Neville* (costumes),Katy Peterson (lights) Elyse Dolan* (properties) and Paul Deziel* (projection design). The stage manager is Shandee Vaughan*.

*Denotes Ensemble and Artistic Affiliates of American Blues Theater

It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! has received Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for Best Midsize Production and Best Ensemble.