“Say Goodnight Gracie” solo performance by Alan Safier comes to Strings Music Pavilion | SteamboatToday.com

“Say Goodnight Gracie” solo performance by Alan Safier comes to Strings Music Pavilion

Performing around the world, Alan Safier stars in "Say Goodnight Gracie" play that captures the life of television icon, George Burns.

— Television icon George Burns continues to have a presence in today's performance halls and theaters across the country.

At 8 p.m. Friday, audience members in the Strings Music Pavilion will witness the life of Burns unfold on stage as Alan Safier stars in "Say Goodnight Gracie," Broadway's third-longest-running solo performance revolving around Burns’ childhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to his entertainment career and palpable love story with his wife.

If You Go…

What: Alan Safier as George Burns in ""Say Goodnight Gracie"

When: 8 p.m. Friday, July 31

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road

Tickets start at $35

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The legacy started when the cigar-smoking entertainer and his wise-cracking partner and wife, Gracie Allen, became stars of vaudeville, radio and television. In the adapted play, written by Rupert Holmes and directed by Michael White, vintage photos and videos from Burns' film and television performances bring his story to life. The play also features Hollywood shorts and guest appearances.

But what sets the show apart is Safier's refined imitation, a routine he has been developing since 2008, when the show first began touring the country.

"If you ware doing a one-person show of someone everyone knows, the main taste is to have the audience forget it's an actor up there on stage," Safier said. "If you're good, they will think it's the real person."

A few key elements to impersonations, Safier said, are the voice — especially if it's a distinctive voice like Burns' — the look and the mannerisms.

"I think the mannerisms may be the most important thing to tackle," Safier said. "The thing is, I have to let as little of my personality into it as possible and make it true to Burns' character. I have to discipline myself to think how he would do or say something. And if it's not relevant to his character, I have to resist that temptation, even if it would get bigger laughs."

Originally, the play was crafted for Burns' fans and based upon the numerous books about him, and the humor crosses generations.

"It's timeless, because it's about human nature mostly, and that doesn't change," Safier said. "After talking with people after the show, I've found that there are a lot of teenagers and those in their 20s who didn't know who Burns was, but became fans after seeing the play."

Illustrating the actor's life through theater, the performance will traverse a range of emotions with sad and tender moments, but also joy and laughter.

"I think that, if you get all of those emotions to come forth in an evening, you will have been successful," Safier said. "Expect a gamut of emotions."

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: Alan Safier as George Burns in “”Say Goodnight Gracie”

When: 8 p.m. Friday, July 31

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road

Tickets start at $35