It's a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph | Victory Gardens Theater | Theater & Performance, Holiday Shows | Chicago Reader

It's a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 27 2009

Frank Capra's 1946 film about George Bailey--a small-town businessman saved from suicidal despair by his guardian angel--is presented by American Blues Theater as a live radio drama, with actors at microphones reading from scripts while an onstage Foley effects man provides the sounds of slamming doors, chirping crickets, splashing water, etc. Hewing close to the brilliant screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Jo Swerling, and Capra, Marty Higginbotham's production transcends mere nostalgia-mongering thanks to deeply felt, carefully sculpted performances by a seasoned ensemble. As George, Kevin Kelly makes no attempt to re-create James Stewart's great screen portrayal. Instead, he delivers his own compelling interpretation of the role. His showdowns with avaricious banker Mr. Potter (a truly creepy performance by John Mohrlein, who also plays the angel) crackle with tension. --Albert Williams

Price: $20-$40


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