Accomplished stage/television actor and star of the recent National Tour of "Say Goodnight Gracie," Joel Rooks will reprise his critically acclaimed role of the lovable George Burns in "Say Goodnight Gracie," The Life, Laughter & Love of George Burns and Gracie Allen when the show returns to the New York stage on Friday, October 14th (2PM) at Off Broadway's St. Luke's Playhouse (308 West 46th Street). Press opening is slated for Sunday, October 30th (2PM). Produced by Jenkay LLC (William I. Franzblau & Jay H. Harris), "Say Goodnight Gracie" is penned by Tony and Emmy Award-winning writer Rupert Holmes and mounted by William I. Franzblau. Acclaimed actress Didi Conn will again supply her estimable talents as the singular voice of Gracie Allen. The Broadway production was nominated for a 2003 Tony Award© for Best Play, won the 2003-04 National Broadway Theatre Award for Best Play and became the third longest running solo- performance shows in Broadway history.
In Say Goodnight Gracie, theater 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.
Joel Rooks knows George Burns like no one else, having understudied for the legendary Frank Gorshin during the show's Broadway run and having starred in countless cities of Say Goodnight Gracie as a part of its national tour. His other credits include the Broadway productions of TheRoyal Family, Taller Than A Dwarf, The Tenth Man and The Sisters Rosensweig; Off Broadway productions of The Secret Order, Rocket to the Moon, Jewtopia, Iron, Comic Potential, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Richard II, School for Scandal, After The Rain and the New York Theater Workshop‚'s Obie award winning production of More Stately Mansions. TV shows including "Copshop," "Ed," "Law and Order," "SVU, " "Law and Order," "Criminal Intent," " The Beat," "Winchell" and assorted daytime dramas.
Playwright Rupert Holmes celebrates the life of America's funniest centenarian in this life-affirming one-man show. Mr. Holmes, whose other Broadway credits include Accomplice and Solitary Confinement, is the first person in theatrical history to win the Tony Award for Best Book, Best Music and Best Lyrics for his Tony award winning musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Holmes also created and wrote the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning television series Remember WENN, set within the golden age of radio. His first novel, Where the Truth Lies received national rave reviews and was made into a major motion picture starring Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth. His second novel, Swing, set in the 1940's big band scene, was published by Random House.
No stranger to either side of the footlights, William I. Franzblau developed and co-produced the regional and Broadway productions of Say Goodnight Gracie. Other credits include Wonderland, The Moscow Circus, American Buffalo, as well as touring versions of Beatlemania, Little House on the Prairie, the Musical and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mr. Franzblau also produced Robert Dubac's The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? as well as the musical adaptation of Sam Remi's Evil Dead, entitled EVIL DEAD the Musical and Jewtopia.
Say Goodnight Gracie will feature a production design by Elaine Smith.