Joel Rooks Will Say Goodnight Gracie at Off-Broadway's St. Luke's

By Michael Gioia
14 Sep 2011

Joel Rooks, who starred in the recent national tour of Say Goodnight Gracie: The Life, Laughter & Love of George Burns, will reprise his performance as George Burns when the show returns to the New York stage Oct. 14, prior to an official opening Oct. 30, at Off-Broadway's St. Luke’s Theatre.



Say Goodnight Gracie, penned by Tony and Emmy Award-winning writer Rupert Holmes and mounted by William I. Franzblau, is produced by Jenkay LLC.

Didi Conn, who was featured as the voiceover of Gracie Allen in the 2003 Broadway production, will again supply her voice for the New York City return.

In Say Goodnight Gracie, according to press notes, "theatre audiences take a guided tour through an American century told through the eyes of George Burns who savored each day from his impoverished youth on the lower East side, to his career in Vaudeville, his marriage to Gracie Allen, their rise to success on stage, screen, radio and TV, and finally George’s 'second time around.'"

The 2003 Broadway production was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play and won the 2003-04 National Broadway Theatre Award for Best Play. Say Goodnight Gracie became the third longest-running solo-performance show in Broadway history.

Rooks, who understudied Frank Gorshin during the show's Broadway run, has played countless cities as part of Say Goodnight Gracie's national tour. His other credits include the Broadway productions of The Royal Family, Taller Than A Dwarf, The Tenth Man and The Sisters Rosensweig. He has appeared Off-Broadway in The Secret Order, Rocket to the Moon, Jewtopia, Iron, Comic Potential, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Richard II, School for Scandal, After The Rain and New York Theater Workshop's Obie Award-winning production of More Stately Mansions.

Say Goodnight Gracie will feature production design by Elaine Smith.

The performance schedule is Friday-Sunday at 2 PM.

St. Luke’s Theatre is located at 308 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com. For more information, visit www.saygoodnightgracie.net.