Rupert Holmes' hit Broadway comedy, Say Goodnight Gracie: The Life, Laughter and Love of George Burns, starring Frank Gorshin, will begin holding 2 PM Thursday matinees on April 3. (Thursday evening shows will be eliminated.) The new schedule is reminiscent of certain performance line-ups in London, where Thursday matinees are not unheard of.
The show opened on Oct. 10, 2002, following previews from Sept. 17.
Gracie was the first new play to open in the 2002-03 Broadway season. John Tillinger directs the work, which previously played at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Coconut Grove Playhouse. It won Florida's Carbonell Award for Best New Play of 2000. Didi Conn provides the voice of Gracie Allen. John Lee Beatty is scenic consultant, lighting design is by Howard Werner, sound is by Kevin Lacey.
Since beginning previews, the unprepossessing Gracie has slowly grown into a quiet hit, playing to largish audiences and building up a tidy advance. Gorshin's turn has met with standing ovations.
In Say Goodnight Gracie , comedian George Burns finds himself caught in limbo, unable to enter heaven until he plays his last performance, thereby preserving his perfect record of having never missed a curtain. Beginning with Burns' poverty-stricken youth on the Lower East Side of New York City, Gorshin recreates the great comedian's life, from his success in vaudeville and on the radio to his marriage to the love of his life, Gracie Allen, and her tragic death; finishing with Burns' late-in life, Academy Award-winning success on the silver screen and his establishment as a 20th-Century entertainment and comedy icon. Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre is at 240 W. 44th Street. For ticket information, call (212) 239 6200.