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‘Humbug!’ actor talks about upcoming show

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 7:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 9:47 a.m. CDT
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(Provided photo )
Alan Safier plays all 27 characters in the one-actor musical“Humbug!”on Saturday at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre.

It would be hard to miss Alan Safier in Saturday’s production of “Humbug!” at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre.

The actor, who previously earned rave reviews in “Say Goodnight Gracie,” plays all 27 characters in the one-actor musical.

“It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire career,” Safier said. “I’ve been doing another one-man show called ‘Say Goodnight Gracie’ in which I play George Burns. And this is 100 times more taxing. When the holidays are over and I’m back to touring with ‘Say Goodnight Gracie,’ it’s going to be like a paid vacation for me, because I only have to play one character and I don’t have to sing 12 songs.”

Playing the female characters in the production was particularly challenging, Safier said.

“I didn’t want to just do a high falsetto voice and just pretend to be a woman,” he said. “I wanted to make them real, flesh and blood people. I’m very happy with how they came out, especially Mrs. Cratchit. I just loved playing Mrs. Cratchit.”

“Humbug!” features an original score by Sheldon Harnick, known for his work on the hit musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” and French musical composer and Oscar winner Michel Legrand. Safier said he started talking to Harnick a year and a half ago about doing a one-man Christmas show.

“I had seen a friend of mine doing a one-man “It’s a Wonderful Life” holiday show, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s a good idea.’ “

Safier said the audience will see the story of “A Christmas Carol” presented in a fresh light.

“The spectacle of seeing me up there changing characters is fun for the audience,” Safier said. “And I think just the tale of redemption is so universal and something that people don’t get tired of.”

“Humbug!” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, located at the Batavia High School campus, 1201 Main St. 

Tickets are available by calling 630-937-8930, or online at www.BataviaFineArtsCentre.org.

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