Say Goodnight Gracie
Tribute show to the life and laughs of George Burns
Comedian and Academy Award-winning actor George Burns is certainly remembered for his good humor, cigar and living to be 100 but he is probably best remembered for the long-running television show "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" and its signature ending. At the end of each show Burns would turn to his TV (and real life) wife Gracie and proclaim "Say Goodnight Gracie" and she, as her ditzy character, would delight audiences by chiming, "Goodnight, Gracie."
The Ridgefield Playhouse is bringing the one-man play "Say Goodnight Gracie" to town on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7:30pm. The Tony-nominated Broadway play by Rupert Holmes invites people to spend a hilarious, heart-warming evening in the uplifting company of the world’s funniest centenarian, George Burns, perfectly played by Alan Safier. Vintage photographs and video clips from film and television performances (Burns's career spanned over 90 years) helps to bring his fascinating story to life. The show also features the vocal talents of actress Didi Conn (Frenchie from the movie “Grease”) as the voice of Gracie Allen.
(Exclusive TownVibe reader giveaway. Enter for a chance to win two tickets to "Say Goodnight Gracie" at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Sept. 23 at 7:30pm by simply "liking" our Facebook post about it.––A winner has been selected.)
The show's star Alan Safier (pictured right) celebrates five decades on stage and TV and has been portraying George Burns for eight seasons, both off-Broadway and across the U.S. with his tour de force performance.
“I grew up with the Burns and Allen television show, and I absolutely worshipped George Burns as a child,” Mr. Safier says. “It’s one of the highlights of my career to actually BE him for 95 minutes every night. To have the audience go from tears of laughter to tears of sadness in a matter of seconds is one of the greatest rewards for an actor, and I savor that at every performance.”
In "Say Goodnight Gracie," George Burns looks back upon his impoverished, plucky youth on the lower east side of New York, his disastrous but tenacious early years in vaudeville, the momentous day when he met a fabulously talented young Irish girl named Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen, their instant chemistry, his wooing of her, and their rise to the pinnacles of vaudeville, film, radio and television. Gracie’s early retirement and untimely death forced George to start over in life as well as in his career. Eventually, he achieved an equal level of success as a solo raconteur and Academy Award-winning actor, portraying everything from a Sunshine Boy to God.