- Alexandra Garfield
A Radio Play for Modern and Nostalgic Theater Goers
If you only see one show this holiday season, consider It’s a Wonderful Life: Live In Chicago! Presented as a 1940s Radio Drama, eight actors perform Frank Capra’s holiday classic about finding hope and love in even the darkest of times.
This show bundles up all the best things of the season and delivers them in one heart-warming 90-minute package. The cast welcomes the audience by leading you in singing Christmas carols like Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman before the “On Air” lights and the story begins.
The cast moves from the songs to the story of It’s a Wonderful Life, playing multiple roles when necessary. The show is capped off when cast members serve milk and cookies to the audience filing out of the theater.
(Photo: Johnny Knight/Courtesy)
Presetting the story as a 1944 radio drama allows for several entertaining additions to the classic plot. Between each of the three sections of the story, you even get radio jingles performed for local businesses such as the Aquitaine Restaurant and Days Inn Chicago. Written and performed by ensemble member, Michael Mahler, the ads ground the performance in the 40s as much as the sets and costumes do.
Every detail makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the golden era of radio theater. This festive mood-booster will leave you smiling and ready for the holidays.
It’s a Wonderful Life: Live In Chicago! Runs through Dec. 27 at The Greenhouse Theater at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: $19-$49.