The Greatest Gift

2017-11-07-10-10-46-557The question was asked if there was anyone in the audience that has never seen "It's A Wonderful Life," and two hands went up. Not surprisingly, a young girl around eleven raised her hand and the crowd of many smiled but when a man in his fifties raised his hand; someone in the crowd said; "What planet are you from?" There are some classic movies, that if you lived on planet earth you must see and "It's A Wonderful Life" is one of those movies.

You must see when George Baily wishes he was never born and you just might experience the same feeling when you felt like life had no purpose. Struggling with those feelings when your existence seems meaningless to yourself and the people around you; especially during the Christmas holiday season when everyone seems joyous and happy. This movie captures that love and pains of those feelings and much, much more. Well if you need a refresher course about this amazing movie, then go to the Edgewater Theatre and see an amazing one-man rendition (Yes, one man and he pulls off an outstanding performance) called "This Wonderful Life."

"This Wonderful Life" is an adaptation of Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" Christmas fantasy comedy-drama. One of the greatest holiday season stories told that was actually considered a flop when it originally came to the movies. This Wonderful Life pulls parts from the original holiday classic where George Bailey (James Leaming) who gives up his thoughts of traveling and getting an education in order to help others is feeling like his dreams are over. Feeling hopeless, defeated and being told he is worth more dead than alive, he decides to make Christmas Eve of 1945 in Bedford Falls, New York, his last day as Mr. Baily.  

james-leaming-photo-by-michael-brosilow-3James Leaming who performs all of the characters is a one-man powerhouse that brings this holiday classic to life with simple effects on stage. His amazing ability to remember the lines of each character are remarkable and he is so passionate and funny that he makes you want to go straight home to see the original movie.

In this fast-paced condensed story that is different from the radio broadcast theater version, Leaming theatrical masterpiece performance makes you wish for the holidays, the love of family, friends and a little Christmas magic.

American Blues Theater’s James Leaming performs every character in this one-man version of the Bedford Falls Christmas carol.

Founding Ensemble member and Chicago’s original “George Bailey” James Leaming inhabits every role in this hilariously touching stage adaptation of the iconic holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life”. George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, and the gang come to life as a single actor creates a heartwarming story about the effect one hardworking man’s life has on the people around him.

We highly recommend that you treat yourself this holiday season with this awesome piece of theater performance that we are sure you will enjoy.

Solo Performer: Starring Founding Ensemble member James Leaming

American Blues Theater Presents

Chicago Premiere of

This Wonderful Life

Written by: Steve Murray

Directed by: Carmen Roman

Starring: James Leaming

November 2-26, 2017

Filed under: ChicagoNow

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