Based on the film by Frank Capra
Directed by Marty Higginbotham
Produced by American Blues Theater
At The Greenhouse Theater
A wonderful rendition of a Christmas classic
Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most beloved Christmas classics that is worth watching every year. The folks at the American Blues Theater bring this heartwarming story to life in the fun and clever style of a live radio show broadcast. The set is a cozy radio studio fully equipped with a Foley sound set and lights to tell the audience when the show is “on air” and when to applaud. The play is set in the nineteen-forties, and the cast are all dressed accordingly. The Foley artist (Shawn J. Goudie) skillfully paints a convincing set for the radio audience, and the cast all do a wonderful job of creating each characters voice. The story is descriptively told, and my friend who had never seen the film had no trouble following the story.
The Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey (Kevin R. Kelly), a small town boy with big town dreams. George has big dreams of traveling the world and doing big things, but his dedication to friends and family along with a series of circumstances keep him in his hometown running the family business the Building and Loan. When the stress of serious problems in the business become too great, George Baily wishes he was never born. Clarence (John Mohrlein), Georges guardian angel, shows him what the world would truly be like without him, and he realizes the true gift of life.
The cast gets everyone in the Christmas spirit before the play starts by singing Christmas carols with the audience. A few mock commercial breaks bring humor and interactive fun as the audience is invited to write Christmas grams which the cast reads in-between the humorous and witty commercials. This heartwarming show will make you laugh and cry, and you will leave the theatre with a smile and a milk mustache from the homemade milk and cookies that the casts gives out after the show. This is a great show for the whole family.
Samuel Erza Fisch
For more info checkout the It’s A Wonderful Life page at theatreinchicago.com