SAY GOODNIGHT, GRACIE Kicks Off Summer Season for Nashville's Street Theatre Company

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Ralph Pape's Say Goodnight, Gracie tells the story of life, dreams, high school reunions and Devil Dogs. It is New York City, 1976, and we meet five members of the first Television Generation: Jerry, a struggling actor, his girlfriend Ginny, a secretary, Steve, a prankish would-be poet and television writer, Bobby, a musician who has been scraping by with dates in small clubs in suburban New Jersey, and his girlfriend, Catherine, a beautiful and rather kinky airline stewardess.
 
Their intention is to attend their high-school reunion, and as they while away the hours before it is time to leave, they talk and smoke pot, and their conversation becoming funnier — and more revealing—as the smoke thickens. They discuss their dreams, insecurities, past events and favorite TV shows. These are children of the idealistic 1960s, unable to come to terms with the uncertain 1970s, and trying to evade, with their ever-funnier comments, the sobering truth that haunts them all-that as they head into their 30s, there are no clear and simple answers anymore.
 
Say Goodnight, Gracie was an off-Broadway play originally starring John Malkovich and Joan Allen that was later adapted into an Emmy award-winning TV show. 
 
Street Theatre Company's cast, under the direction of Paul J. Cook, features Jeremy Maxwell, Melissa Silengo, Ryan Williams, Laura Crockerell and Alan Smith.
 
"I learned of this play back when I was in college and fell in love with it," says Cathy Street, artistic director of the company. "Not only is it very, very funny, but also introspective, which to me is a winning combination. I also think it speaks universally to all ages. People who grew up in the '60s and '70s are going to relate to the issues of that era, and young people today will most definitely relate to that angst of trying to figure out who you are going to become.”
 
Say Goodnight, Gracie runs June 8-24. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors, with specials including a Talk-Back night, Student night, and Starving Artist night. For specific show information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.streettheatrecompany.org. Performances are at Street Theatre, 1933 Elm Hill Pike, just off Briley Parkway. For more information, call (615) 554-7414.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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