American Blues Theater (ABT), Chicago's second oldest Equity ensemble, continues its 2012-2013 season with a return engagement of the critically acclaimed It's a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph!, directed by Marty Higginbotham, at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., November. 23 – December 30. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the production below.
Pink Previews, where tickets sales benefit the Lynn Sage Foundation for breast cancer research, are November 23 – 25. The press/opening night performance is Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19-$49 and go on sale October 2 at 12 p.m. through the box office (773) 871-3000 or online at americanbluestheater.com.
The performance schedule is Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. An additional holiday performance is scheduled for Wednesday, December 26 at 8 p.m. Valet parking is available for $12.
From the original director and Ensemble that brought this holiday tradition to Chicago since 2002, the American Blues family takes you back to a 1940s radio broadcast of Frank Capra's holiday classic-It's a Wonderful Life (based on the short story "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern) with live Foley sound effects, an original score and a critically acclaimed cast of eight 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.
Returning for this year's production are American Blues Theater Ensemble members Kevin R. Kelly (George Bailey), John Mohrlein (Mr. Potter/Clarence) and Gwendolyn Whiteside (Mary Bailey). Also returning this year are ABT Artistic Affiliates Dara Cameron (Violet), James Joseph (Uncle Billy), Michael Mahler (Pianist/Announcer) and guest artist Shawn Goudie (Foley artist). Joining the cast for the first time will be Ian Paul Custer (Harry).
A benefit performance and post-show discussion for Misericordia is Wednesday November 28. Additionally, American Blues Theater honors one serviceman or servicewoman per performance with their "Soldier Spotlight." ABT is proud partners with Adler School of Professional Psychology, Anixter Center, Misericordia, St. Leo's Residential Housing for Veterans, USO, U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs.