American Blues Theater presents the 15th Anniversary Production of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!

American Blues Theater continues its 2016-2017 Season with the 15th Anniversary Production of the holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! The production, based on the beloved Frank Capra’s film, is directed by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside with music direction by Michael Mahler. It’s a Wonderful Life runs November 18 – December 31, 2016 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.

For 15 years, the American Blues Ensemble has treated Chicago audiences to a live 1940s radio broadcast of holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life. 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.

The cast for It’s a Wonderful Life includes Brandon Dahlquist as George Bailey, as well as American Blues Ensemble Members & Artistic Affiliates Dara Cameron (Violet), Ian Paul Custer (Harry), Shawn Goudie(Foley), James Joseph (Uncle Billy), Michael Mahler (Announcer), John Mohrlein (Clarence/Mr. Potter), and Camille Robinson (Mary Bailey).

The creative team includes Gwendolyn Whiteside* (director), Michael Mahler* (music director, jingle composer), Austin Cook* (score), Grant Sabin* (scenic), Katy Peterson (lights), Christopher J. Neville* (costumes), Shawn Goudie* (Foley design), Elyse Dolan* (props), Paul Deziel* (video associate), Marty Higginbotham* (original direction), Sarah E. Ross* (production manager), and Kathryn Lochert* (stage manager).

*Denotes Ensemble members and Artistic Affiliates of American Blues Theater

About American Blues Theater

American Blues Theater is the premier American theater producing visceral theatrical works while engaging its audience in missions of local service agencies. American Blues Theater illuminates the American ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity in the plays produced and communities served.

The multi-generational and interdisciplined artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. The 37-member Ensemble has 532+ combined years of collaboration on stage. As of 2016, the theater and artists received 186 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and over 31 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.

The American Blues Theater Ensemble includes all four Founders Ed Blatchford, Rick Cleveland, James Leaming, and William Payne with Dawn Bach, Matthew Brumlow, Manny Buckley, Kate Buddeke, Sarah Burnham, Dara Cameron, Casey Campbell, Darren Canady, Brian Claggett, Dennis Cockrum, Austin Cook, Laura Coover, Ian Paul Custer, Lauri Dahl, Joe Foust, Cheryl Graeff, Marty Higginbotham, Jaclyn Holsey, Lindsay Jones, Nambi E. Kelley, Kevin R. Kelly, Steve Key, Ed Kross, Warren Levon, Michael Mahler, Heather Meyers, John Mohrlein, Christopher J. Neville, Suzanne Petri, Carmen Roman, Editha Rosario, Sarah E. Ross, and Gwendolyn Whiteside.