Venue Details

43 Star Starred
Oil Lamp Theater
1723 Glenview Road Glenview, IL 60025
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Christmas comes early to Glenview this year as the Oil Lamp Theater offers its special holiday gift, the timeless classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. In this adaptation of the famous movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, Executive and Artistic Director Keith Gerth transforms the intimate space of Glenview’s Oil Lamp Theater into the 1940s radio studio of New York station WBFR. Audiences will be whisked back in time to the era of radio drama as they watch five actors create all the characters who populate the magical world of Bedford Falls.  

Joe Page and Susan Steinmeyer play George and Mary Bailey, while Zach Bloomfield is the plum-toned announcer for WBFR. Bloomfield also provides the voice of the villainous old miser Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy, Mr. Gower the druggist, and others. Martin Hughes and Elizabeth Mazur also enact a wide range of roles in the radio drama. Hughes brings to life the saving angel Clarence, Harry Bailey, Sam Wainwright and others. Mazur lends her versatile voice and acting skills to every other female in the play, ranging from a small child to a senior citizen and from the town siren to George Bailey’s mom.

Rounding out the cast is Foley artist and real-life stage manager Angie Miller, who plays the sound engineer at WBFR. She is entrusted with all the behind-the-scenes audio magic for the radio play. Miller adds a critical dimension to the show as she uses clever and surprising techniques to simulate ringing telephones, chirping crickets, slamming doors, breaking glass and much more.  

This radio play closely follows the plot of the Frank Capra film. However, audience members will experience the story through the unique lens of this “golden age of radio” production, complete with flashing “applause” signs and clever jingles during commercial breaks. While most audience members may already know how this story unfolds, Gerth said he believes this play’s message rings especially true today, and will touch viewers’ hearts as powerfully as ever.

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