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Chris Galvan (from left) Lauren OmelsDavid Boyle Rob FagGrace Lethiot Frederick Harris are part Beverly Arts Center's producti'It's Wonderful Life:

Chris Galvan (from left), Lauren Omelson, David Boyle, Rob Fagin, Grace Lethiot and Frederick Harris are part of the Beverly Arts Center's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play."

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Updated: January 1, 2013 6:14AM



Here is a look at events with tickets already on sale or going on sale soon.

Shows include “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago and “A Christmas Carol” at the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University in University Park.

BEVERLY ARTS CENTER

2407 W. 111th St., Chicago, (773) 445-3838, beverlyartcenter.org

“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 9. Tickets are $22 individually or available at a substantial discount when purchased as part of the five-show or three-show subscriptions to the 2012-13 BAC Professional Theater Series. Already on sale.

Almost everyone has a favorite moment in Frank Capra’s classic film “It’s A Wonderful Life.” From the scene in which George Bailey saves his younger brother’s life to the scene where Clarence the Angel earns his wings, audiences can revel in the clever stage adaptation.

Written by Joe Landry, “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is a theater play about performing a live 1940s-style radio show before a studio audience.

Five talented Chicago actors play all the characters from nice guy George Bailey, mean old Mr. Potter and sweet Mary Bailey to befuddled Clarence the Angel, little ZuZu and everyone in between.

The actors change their voices for every role and sometimes in the fraction of a second between one line of dialogue and the next. Plus, they play piano, provide all the sound effects and perform all the “radio commercials.”

Rushing from microphone and piano to wind machine, the actors unfold Bailey’s unforgettable story, which is set on Christmas Eve 1946.

“The show captures the feeling of the days when radio plays were the most popular form of family entertainment,” director Shellee Frazee said.

The professional cast comes from throughout the Chicago area and brings a range of experience and excitement to the Beverly Arts Center stage.

Rob Fagin performs the role of Jake Laurents who, as part of the radio play, performs the parts of Bailey and young George. An actor with many Chicago theater credits, Fagin earned an Equity Jeff Award best actor nomination for the title role in “The Farnsworth Invention” at TimeLine Theatre.

David Boyle plays Freddie Filmore who serves as the announcer and performs the roles of Henry F. Potter, Uncle Billy Bailey, Ernie the cab driver, Giuseppe Martini, Nick the bartender and others. Boyle’s many Chicago theater credits include his original solo play, “An Accidental Organist,” which debuted at Gorilla Tango Theatre.

Locally, Boyle has performed “An Accidental Organist” at the Music Station and David Sedaris“Santaland Diaries” for three years at World Music Company.

In the role of radio actress Sally Applewhite, Grace Lethiot plays Mary Hatch Bailey and young Mary. Lethiot recently returned to Chicago after touring with the Windy City Players’ production of “Beauty and the Beast” and last appeared at the Beverly Arts Center in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Frederick Harris — who plays Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood doing the roles of Clarence the Angel, Harry Bailey and others — is a member of Barrel of Monkeys where he serves as music director and teaches. He was last seen at the Beverly Arts Center in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Lauren Omelson performs as Lana Sherwood handling the parts of Violet, Rose and others. Recent performances include “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at the Beverly Arts Center as well as shows at Timber Lake Playhouse and Remy Bumppo Theatre.

Chris Galvan takes on the role of stage manager in his second professional show at the Beverly Arts Center. Galvan also appeared in and directed several Beverly Arts Center student productions.

Maggie Junkins, 9, plays Suzie portraying ZuZu. She was first seen on the Beverly Arts Center stage at age 5 in “Frosty the Snowman” and has appeared in several other plays including “Honk” and “Rugrats.”

Kate Junkins, 11, portrays Beth. She has appeared in many Beverly Arts Center performances including “The Jungle Book,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Aristocats” and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

The show’s director Frazee is the artistic director of theater and dance at the Beverly Arts Center as well as a teaching artist and freelance director-choreographer.

“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is partly funded by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust and is the first play in the 2012-13 BAC Professional Theater Series.

The Beverly Arts Center is partnering with three Chicago-area theater groups on a series of five professional productions to be performed at the venue through June.

Tickets to the series are available by five-show subscriptions for $90 ($80 for center members), three-show subscriptions that saves 10 percent and individual shows.

Other productions in the theater series include Profiles Theatre’s Jeff-nominated “After,” Porchlight Music Theatre’s Billie Holiday-inspired musical “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” the Guild Literary Complex show “Tour Guides” and the Beverly Arts Center production of Neil Simon’s “They’re Playing Our Song.”

The grant for the BAC Professional Theater Series was awarded through the Chicago Community Trust program to enhance cultural vibrancy, access and diversity.

For 97 years, the Chicago Community Trust, the region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago.

In 2011, the trust, together with its donors, granted more than $130 million to nonprofit organizations. From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to protecting the safety net for those hardest hit by the recession, the trust continues to enhance the region.

Information: cct.org.

More about the 2012-13 series

“AFTER” IN FEBRUARY: Profiles Theater Company began performing in the late 1980s, producing edgy, hard-hitting theater.

The Jeff-nominated “After” by Chad Beckim is about a man exonerated by DNA evidence after 17 years in prison. He struggles to reassimilate to life in the regular world and deal with the anger of having his youth destroyed.

Tickets are $26 or $23 for center members.

“LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL” IN MARCH: Set in a seedy bar in Philadelphia 1959, audiences can witness one of the last performances of the great Miss Billie Holiday.

Founded in 1994, Porchlight Music Theatre focuses exclusively on music theater and is recognized for nurturing young talent in a challenging yet supportive environment.

Tickets are $26 or $23 for center members.

“TOUR GUIDES” IN APRIL: The Guild Literary Complex, a community-based literary organization, presents and supports diverse, divergent and emerging voices through innovative programs including performances and readings.

Tickets are $16 or $13 for center members.

NEIL SIMON’S “THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG” IN JUNE: Based on the real-life relationship of composer Marvin Hamlisch and lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, who wrote the music and lyrics, this Beverly Arts Center production uses story and song to bring a couple through a series of trials and over a number of hurdles.

Tickets are $23 or $21 for center members.

The Beverly Arts Center is a nonprofit multicultural, multidiscipline fine arts facility serving Chicago’s south and southwest suburban audiences with arts education, programming and entertainment.

Provided to the SouthtownStar

THE CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS AT GOVERNORS STATE UNIVERSITY

Off University Parkway east of Governors Highway, University Park, (708) 235-2222, centertickets.net

“A Christmas Carol” at 11 a.m. Dec. 1. Tickets are $12-$17. Already on sale.

A beloved holiday classic is are coming to GSU. “A Christmas Carol” is ideal family entertainment, close to home with affordable prices and free parking.

Officials said the venue is committed to presenting the best in live entertainment to local audiences, and that is especially true during the holiday season.

“A Christmas Carol,” presented by Theatreworks USA, is a musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ unforgettable story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited miser who believes the holiday season can be summed up in one word: “humbug.”

After being visited by three Christmas ghosts, Scrooge is a changed man and vows to dedicate his life to the welfare of others.

“ ‘A Christmas Carol’ captures both the humorous and touching moments of Dickens’ tale with witty dialogue and fresh new songs,” officials said.

The show is approximately one hour in length. Prior to the performance, renowned storyteller Lynn Clayton will share holiday tales and tunes to complement “A Christmas Carol.” Her stories and songs will begin at 10 a.m.

The box office is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and two hours prior to performances. Multibuy/Megabuy packages are available for shows at the theater.

Patrons can choose any three or four shows and receive the Multibuyer discount or choose any five or more shows and receive the Megabuy discount.

In addition to savings, package-holders receive ticket exchange privileges with 72-hour notice or more, priority seating and more.

Packages are available for purchase through the box office only and are not currently available online.

Provided to the SouthtownStar

MORE TICKET LISTINGS

ARAGON BALLROOM

1106 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, (773) 561-9500, aragon.com

Dropkick Murphys on Feb. 22. Already on sale.

BOTTOM LOUNGE

1375 W. Lake St., Chicago, (312) 666-6775, bottomlounge.com

Silverstein and Glass Cloud at 5 p.m. (4 p.m. doors) Jan. 26. Tickets are $16 in advance and $18 on show day for the all-ages gig. Already on sale.

DOUBLE DOOR

1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, (773) 489-3160, doubledoor.com

All shows are 21-and-older.

Tickets for these shows are already on sale at TicketFly.com.

◆ Dirtroom Show featuring a special holiday performance by Ryan Powers & Friends and special guests to be announced at 8 p.m. (7:30 p.m. doors) Dec. 18. Tickets are $7.

Seventeen Sisters, MY MY MY, Miss Jackie and the Sass and Visionaire at 8 p.m. (7:30 p.m. doors) Jan. 16. Tickets are $7.

FITZGERALD’S

6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, (708) 788-2118, fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

Rob Parton Big Band CD release show (jazz) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for age 17 and younger.

◆ The Shams Band plus Cole DeGenova and the People’s Republic and the Heard (rock) at 9 p.m. Dec. 22. Tickets are $10 at TicketWeb.com

Country Night in Berwyn Celebrates the Holidays with Crazee Heart, Cropduster, the Chandelier Swingers, Honky Tonk Parade, Mars Hill, Morning Shower Scotch, Peter Joly/For Pilots, the reZIDUALS and Tim Menard at 8 p.m. Dec. 27. Tickets are $5.

HOUSE OF BLUES CHICAGO

329 N. Dearborn St., (312) 923-2000, hob.com/chicago

◆ Hard presents the Out of the Black Tour with Boys Noize featuring LE1F and Djedjotronic at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 8. Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 on show day for the 17-and-older show. Tickets purchased for the Aragon Ballroom, where this show originally was scheduled, will be honored. Already on sale.

◆ Swizzle Steve presents Simpleton & Cityfolk with Xoe Wise and the Lauren Wolf Band at 7 p.m. Dec. 27. Tickets are $12 for the 17-and-older show. Already on sale.

Railroad Earth at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 25. Tickets are $22.50 in advance or $25 on show day for the 17-and-older general-admission gig. On sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 30.

◆ Silver Wrapper presents Papadosio at 10 p.m. Feb. 2. Tickets are $17.50 in advance or $20 on show day for the 17-and-older general-admission gig. On sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 30.

Meshuggah and others at 7 p.m. Feb. 23. Tickets are $27.50 in advance or $30 on show day for the all-ages general-admission gig. On sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 30.

MARTYRS’

3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, (773) 404-9494, martyrslive.com

Cornmeal’s Holiday Ramble featuring members of Cornmeal, Backyard Tire Fire, the Giving Tree Band and Henhouse Prowlers at 9 p.m. Dec. 27. Tickets are $15.

Break, Temporary Pharoahs and Magatha Trysty at 9 p.m. Jan. 10. Tickets are $7.

Sousaphenia 2 featuring Environmental Encroachment, BS Brass Band and Sanctified Grumblers at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 11. Tickets are $10.

Sousaphenia 2 featuring Four Star Brass Band, Black Bear Combo and others at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 12. Tickets are $10.

Twin Cats and Booty Movement Coalition at 9 p.m. Jan. 17. Tickets are $7.

METRO

3730 N. Clark St., Chicago, (773) 549-4140, metrochicago.com

Quicksand on Jan. 12.

SOLDIER FIELD

1410 S. Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, (312) 235-7000, soldierfield.net

Bon Jovi on July 12. Tickets are $16.50-$132. On sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 3.



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