Last Friday, Mr. Houseful and I went out for a night on the town to see a stage play of an old holiday favorite, It’s A Wonderful Life. I’m going to go ahead and confess something right now. I literally have NEVER seen It’s A Wonderful Life in its entirety. Ever. I always come in when George Bailey is coming back home after seeing how life is in Bedford Falls without his birth. Apparently, I REALLY need to see the movie if the stage play is any indication. American Blues Theater’s production of It’s A Wonderful Life really lit a fire under me to watch it. Playing until December 27 of this year, you need to RUN and purchase your tickets before they leave this year. Mr. Houseful and I agreed long ago that we wanted to start attending more theater in Chicago, and this was the perfect way to start our journey. American Blues Theater in Chicago’s Lincoln Park area is home to It’s A Wonderful Life and a great pit stop during this season of giving and shopping.
Last year, at our old house, I became accustomed to listening to The Play’s the Thing while sewing my office late into the evening. There was something about listening to a play from a wonderful work of art, and being able to let my imagination come to life. Listening to NPR and having A Prairie Home Companion fill my car and home with stories of Guy Noir is one of my favorite things to do during the week, so it comes as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed the radio presentation of It’s A Wonderful Life. It was refreshing to see actors having to emote not for us in the audience, but for those pretend listeners tuning in for an evening of entertainment. There were no focused gazes out into the audience, but all of their stage presence went into making sure those on the other side of the radio felt as if they were in the very room with the actors.
Each scene was broken up by commercials that were for actual businesses in the Lincoln Park and Chicago area, so us Chicagoans could go and patronize. What a smart idea given that so many are coming from out of town to enjoy all that our city has to offer. The jingles were also accompanied by audiograms that folks in the audience were able to write and have read during commercial breaks.
I was not prepared by how much I would love the simplicity of everything. The stage was an humble living area, complete with couch, Christmas tree, and seating to complete the cozy feel of the set. Costumes were era appropriate, and I’m still upset that I didn’t wear my black vintage Mary Janes on that evening.
If you are interested in seeing the play this holiday season, you can order tickets online. The running time for It’s A Wonderful Life is approximately 90 minutes. Tickets are $19 – $49 and are on sale now through the box office 773.404.7336 or online atAmericanBluesTheater.com. The performance schedule is Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. with additional holiday performances Sunday Dec. 20 at 5:30pm, Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 27 at 5:30 p.m. For more information visit www.AmericanBluesTheater.com.
Mr. Houseful and I were provided with complimentary tickets to a show. All opinions are my own.