American Theater Company`s fresh take on `It's a Wonderful Life` - FOX 35 News Orlando

American Theater Company`s fresh take on `It's a Wonderful Life`

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

We're all familiar with the holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life." But now there's a way to experience it like never before, right here in Chicago!

The American Theater Company proves that you don't need Jimmy Stewart to pull off this classic story.

"Imagine life without you." It's the most important lesson George Bailey ever learned. But if you had to imagine life, "It's a Wonderful Life," at least, without James Stewart, could you do it?

The American Theater Company in Chicago wants you to try. Will Allan and Sadieh Rifai are actors playing actors playing George Bailey and Mary Hatch, the roles made famous by James Stewart and Donna Reed in Frank Capra's holiday classic.

"Our play takes place relatively soon after the movie was released," Allan told FOX 32 News. "We play a bunch of radio artists in the 1940s then putting on a radio production of it's a wonderful life.

The cast and crew know that capturing the magic of the original film is an uphill battle. You'd have a better shot asking for the moon. In fact, it's stepping into the shoes originally filled by a legend that brings the most pressure.

"Playing George Bailey is one of the more iconic film roles in American cinema," Allan said. "You kind of feel like you may to pay at least a little homage to Jimmy."

What better way than with that iconic voice?

"A lot of stuttering. I don't know, I just practice it while eating something," Allan explained. "If you talk in your normal voice while you're eating eventually you'll hear a little Jimmy in there. Just add a ton of stuttering and an obscene amount of charm."

While it's easy to be a purist when it comes to classic cinema, ATC's unique vision may be the closest thing we get to Bedford Falls any time soon. It's true while many things never change, sometimes the best things do.

What can you say? That's life.

ATC was cool enough to give us a special code for FOX 32 viewers.

If you buy online at www.atcweb.org using the code "FOX32" or call them at 773-409-4125 and mention "FOX32," they will give you 25% off your tickets.

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