Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – George and Gracie: A Love Story
Review by Kelly J Clark – Showbill.ca Managing Editor
August 31, 2017
George and Gracie: A Love Story follows the romance of George Burns (David MacPherson) and Gracie Allen (Melissa Blank) over their personal lives and career on the vaudeville circuit, television, and film. The leads shine with classic wit and the impeccable pacing of the banter shows that they really care about portraying the soul of their subjects.
At best, this is a riotous pleasure teeming with nostalgia both sweet and painful. At its worst, it’s still a solidly competent show. What few critiques available are really scraping the barrel: the leads could sing a bit louder over the incumbent sounds of the keyboard; the cast seemed to be still getting the hang of the rapid-fire dialogue and made a few minor flubs.
The only real problem with the show is that it’s surprisingly short for a story with such broad, beautiful material to draw from, and at times this speed makes it hard to determine if the love story we’re seeing is in or out of character; real life or screen. In the end, we realize it’s been both all along, but the build would have given more to the story. Obviously, the only choice for creator David MacPherson is to expand this into a full two hour production and put it on again.
This is a strong, beautiful show that draws on one of the loveliest stories from classic Hollywood. From start to finish, this one’s a winner, and you’ll leave the theatre with a smile on your face and maybe even a tear in your eye.
Created by David MacPherson
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 5 (Langham Court Theatre)
Sept 1 @ 5:15pm
Sept 2 @ 5:30pm