News Column

* American Blues Theater remounts its acclaimed 1940s radio-play version of Fran

November 22, 2013

YellowBrix

* American Blues Theater remounts its acclaimed 1940s radio-play version of Frank Capra's beloved holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!" Marty Higginbotham returns to direct the show about good-hearted George Bailey, the richest man in Bedford Falls. The production features foley artist Shawn Goudie and is accompanied by holiday carols and period commercials. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 22, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Nov. 24. (773) 404-7336 or .

* Performances begin Friday, Nov. 22, for American Theater Company's "It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play" at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. PJ Paparelli directs. (773) 409-4125 or .

* Separated from Santa and mounted on a taxidermy shop wall, Dasher needs a miracle to rejoin the reindeer team in Quest Theatre Ensemble's holiday musical "The People's A Christmas Wish," directed by Andrew Park, who also wrote the book and lyrics, with music by Scott Lamps. Performances begin Friday, Nov. 22, at The Blue Theater on the St. Gregory Church Campus, 1609 W. Gregory St., Chicago. Admission to the family-friendly production is free, but reservations are required and donations are accepted. (312) 458- 0895 or .

* Mitchell Fain reprises his role as the sardonic elf Crumpet in Theater Wit's 10th anniversary production of "The Santaland Diaries," inspired by humorist David Sedaris' stint as a Macy's elf. The show opens Friday, Nov. 22, at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 975-8150 or .

* Trap Door Theatre hosts its 20th anniversary celebration beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, with a performance of the company's current production, a remount of its signature 1996 show "Blood on the Cat's Neck," by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, at 1655 W. Cortland St., Chicago. The play is about an extraterrestrial named Phoebe sent to earth to study democracy. Dinner at Riverside Cafe, 1656 W. Cortland

St., Chicago, follows at 8:30 p.m. which is followed by an after- party at the theater. Tickets are $125 inclusive. (773) 384-0494 or .

* Hubris Productions presents a holiday version of an adults- only cabaret featuring Olive Fishbasket and Her Good Time Galz, beginning with an 8 p.m. preshow followed by a 9 p.m. performance on Saturday, Nov. 23, at The Call, 1547 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. See for more information.

* The family-friendly "Sarazad," a re-imagined version of "1001 Arabian Nights," about a nine-year-old girl who learns how to deal with real-life bullies after she's whisked away to a fantastical realm, opens Saturday, Nov. 23, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Written by E.J.C. Calvert, the play was commissioned by TRUF, a New York ensemble. (773) 598-4549 or .

* Clockwise Theatre's Great New Plays Reading Series continues at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, with Helen Valenta's "The People of Chicago." The free reading takes place at 221 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. See for more information.

* New Orleans chanteuse Ingrid Lucia, daughter of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg contemporary David Pearlman, known as Poppa Neutrino, performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, at Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. $10 suggested donation. (773) 270- 1660 or .

* "Elf The Musical," inspired by the hit 2003 film about a human raised as one of Santa's elves, who goes to New York City to find his biological father, comes to the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Performances begin Tuesday, Nov. 26. (800) 775-2000 or .

* The adults-only, queer holiday musical "We Three Lizas," returns to About Face Theatre with a new book and an expanded score on Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show is about an artist on the brink of ruin who's visited by three incarnations of Liza Minnelli who help him realize his potential. Scott Bradley wrote the book and lyrics, with music and lyrics by Alan Schmuckler. The show opens Dec. 5. (773) 327-5252 or or stage773.com.

* "The Christmas Schooner" sails into the Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago beginning Wednesday, Nov. 27. The musical by John Reeger and Julie Shannon recounts the shipwreck of the Rouse Simmons, also known as the Christmas tree ship, whose captain and crew risked sailing Lake Michigan in the winter to bring trees from Michigan to Chicago's German immigrants. Previews begin Wednesday, Nov. 27. The show, directed by L. Walter Stearns with music direction by Eugene Dizon and choreography by Brenda Didier, opens Dec. 4. (773) 325-1700 or .

* The Neo-Futurists have extended "The Sovereign Statement" through Nov. 23, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. Created by Bilal Dardai, the show invites theatergoers to "choose their own autocracy" as part of this examination of how nations are born. (773) 275-5255 or .

* Emerald City Theatre has extended its production of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic," a show designed for youngsters up to four years old. Performances run on select dates through March 30, 2014, at 2933 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 529-2690, ext. 810 or .

-- Barbara Vitello

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