Ed Dixon has a delightful demeanor, often delivering a line with an implied wink. In “Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose,” which he has written and performs, he recalls the late prominent British-born actor (1920-1988), whom he met and admired and with whom he developed a 20-year friendship. He doesn’t do an imitation of Rose, except when he quotes something Rose said or did, but it would seem that Dixon fancies himself in the same mold.
Dixon looms on stage as the kind of larger than life figure that Rose was in whatever part he assumed in his impressive 41-year Broadway career (Two-time Tony winner and a total of five Tony nominations). Being such a successful actor and colorful character makes George Rose an excellent candidate for a one-man show like this.
Directed by Eric Schaeffer, Dixon tries to keep the homage lively, moving about and pouring his heart and his talent to evoking Rose while spinning narratives describing some of the outrageous things Rose liked to do and references interactions with a bevy of stars. It is clear that Dixon idolized Rose and it shows throughout.
I once was invited to dinner with Rose and a mutual friend, and can attest that Rose could be amusing in person as well as on stage. As for the actor’s personal life, Dixon notes that Rose was openly gay.
For all of the colorful anecdotes and insights associated with Rose, there was a horrible ending to his life. He was tortured and murdered under mysterious circumstances in the Dominican Republic, were he had a home and had adopted a 17-year-old youth. It was a brutally undeserving fate for a man with a kind heart as well as enormous talent.
Dixon covers Rose’s life with flair and fine-tuned recollections. I generally find that one-person shows can be shortened, as it takes a lot for an actor to succeed in holding the stage firmly in delivering a performance that is 90-minutes long with no intermission. Dixon succeeded admirably in bonding with his audience on the night I saw the show, but his “Georgie,” while entertaining, moving and glowing with expertise, could still stand some tightening. At the Davenport Loft, 354 West 45th Street. Reviewed February 2, 2017.