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Article posted: 11/30/2012 7:51 PM

Improv Playhouse to perform "It's A Wonderful Life"


The Improv Playhouse Radio Players, a professional drama troupe of the Libertyville-based theater company, is performing the live staged radio drama "It's A Wonderful Life" for a two-weekend run in Libertyville.

"This is a story of redemption, where the lead character finds he's at the end of all hope, only to be presented with a new vision on how his life has affected so many," said David Stuart, Improv Playhouse executive producer, who is directing and starring in the role of George Bailey.

This is the fourth year for this holiday tradition.

The cast features successful actors including veteran character actor Egon Schein from Libertyville (Clarence/Potter), Crystal Lake resident, Erin Clark, as Mary, and SAG-AFTRA actor and Hainesville resident George Elliott (Superintendent Angel).

Additional cast members include SAG-AFTRA actor Michael Scott Blackman (Deerfield), Jordan Yager (Hawthorn Woods), Nora Broz (Aurora) and Kelly Zea (Chicago). Four young actors play the child roles.

"Sean McCarthy (Antioch) and Sam Lemme (Vernon Hills) are two terrific young actors who have been in many of our youth productions and are the perfect fit to play Young George. We have also cast two wonderful young ladies in Isabelle Koleno (Lake Forest) and Pia Russo (Lincolnshire) to play the young female roles including the role of ZuZu."

"It's a Wonderful Life" is the quintessential holiday tale of George Bailey familiar to most and regarded as perhaps the best Christmas movie ever made.

To take this story and set it in a 1940s radio studio complete with commercials and a sound effects artist is a great concept, and it is clear why this show has become a staple of the holiday season in Libertyville.

"This is a production that will delight all members of every family, from young to old; it emphasizes the joy of the Christmas holiday, in a little over an hour," says Stuart.

Six performances only, Friday, Saturday and Sundays Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 14-16. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., while Sundays are at 2:30 p.m. They are approximately 1 hour 15 minutes long.

Inquire about special dinner package with Trattoria Pomigliano.

The I.P. Theater is at 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. Pre-sale tickets are $17.50 for adults, and $12.50 seniors, students and military. Tickets at the door are $20 and $15. Recommended age: 7 & up. To order tickets, call (847) 968.4529 or purchase online at www.improvplayhouse.com.

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