When director Ian Gerber decided to put on Say Goodnight, Gracie under the auspices of the Theater Company of Lafayette, he thought of playwright Ralph Pape's look at twenty-somethings during the nation's Bicentennial as a period piece. But while assembling the ongoing production, he realized that many of its themes are extremely current. "It takes place in September 1976, a couple of months before one of the bigger presidential elections of the time," he points out. "Also, the economy was tough, people weren't happy about what was going on, and there were raw feelings about a war."
That sounds heavy, but Gerber emphasizes the comedic aspects of the play. There are plenty of now-nostalgic era references, not to mention characters played by Matt Ellison, Alexandria St. Aubin and other notables who get personal under the influence of a certain smokable herb. Still, he acknowledges that "there are some real poignant moments" amid the laughter. Think of it as Gracie under pressure.
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The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary Miller Theater, 300 East Simpson Street in Lafayette, and because it's an industry-night staging, tickets are only $8 a considerable discount over subsequent presentations, which run through March 22. For more information, phone 720-209-2154 or visit www.tclstage.org.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Mon., March 3, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 16, 2 p.m. Starts: Feb. 29. Continues through March 22, 2008