The Gin Game

Critics

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 8

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Sat Aug 31, 1:00pm
Sat Sep 14, 1:00pm
Sun Sep 15, 1:00pm
Sat Sep 21, 1:00pm
Sun Sep 22, 1:00pm
Sat Sep 28, 1:00pm
Sun Sep 29, 1:00pm

Last season’s acclaimed, Ovation recommended production of The Gin Game, directed by Christian Lebano at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, will be re-staged outdoors at the beautiful Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga, with real life husband and wife team Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James reprising their roles. In D.L Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-hander, a pair of elderly residents in a nursing home strike up a stormy friendship while playing gin rummy. The irascible Weller Martin struggles with “the incredible run of luck” enjoyed by self-righteous Fonsia Dorsey, who beats him consistently — even though she’s just learned the game and he’s been playing for years. As they play, they reveal secrets that get used against each other, and the game becomes a metaphor for their lives. Aug. 17 thru Sept. 29; Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga CA  90290; $15-$38; (310) 455-3723 or www.theatricum.com. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theatricum or follow us on Twitter: @theatricum

Reviews

Avatar
"This production is a triumph, because rarely does one have a chance to see a genuine Broadway-level masterpiece played out with such professional skill in their own hometown."

sweet - Annemarie Donkin - Messenger Mountain News - ...read full review


Avatar
"Playwright Colburn cannily wrings every ounce of comedy from Martin's bad temper, creating a pair of richly memorable characters by filling in their back-story and revealing what they have in common. Along the way, he examines the plight of seniors stuck, sometimes unwillingly, in old age homes. Director Christian Lebano captures every available nuance and draws terrific performances from his actors. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Neal Weaver - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar
"Wonderful production, don't miss it!"

sweet - Carol Edger-Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Rare is the play that offers actors of Social Security check-receiving age the chance to take center stage, and equally rare are performers capable of captivating an audience for nearly two hours without a hitch. The Gin Game, starring Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James, does both to indelible effect."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott
"D. L. Coburn hangs his deeply affecting tale about ageism onto a marathon Gin Game in a retirement home back in the late 70s. Husband and wife team, Katherine James and Alan Blumenfeld play Fonsia Dorsey and Weller Martin, respectively. Both have wound up in the Bentley Home for the Aged, a low-income retirement facility and they soon became friends over Weller's obsession with the game of Gin Rummy. Under Christian Lebano's well paced dynamic, their relationship builds slowly until the play's explosive ending."

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Frances Baum Nicholson
"An articulate, well-known play is produced with great polish and passion. The visuals are evocative. The performers are impressive. The net result is well worth the price of admission."

sweet - Frances Baum Nicholson - Pasadena Star News - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"Weller and Fonsia are both intelligent people, but with character flaws that have turned almost every decision they ever made into a wrong move. At this stage of their lives they are desperate to hold onto some semblance of personal dignity now that they are alone, penniless, not physically well, and living in profoundly “reduced circumstances” as the Victorian novelists used to say. The card games they play recall nothing so much as the famous chess match between the medieval knight Antonius Block and Death in Ingmar Bergman's 1957 classic film The Seventh Seal, set during the black plague. The absurdist course of these innocent games will end up determining the fate of these two tragic, lonely people who seem at any moment as if they could be each other's salvation. The Gin Game is helmed by the award-winning Artistic Director of Sierra Madre Playhouse Christian Lebano, who probably didn't have to work too hard to bring out these masterful actors' perfect senses of timing and tone. There is not a false note in the show."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar
"It's amusing, it's witty, it's sober, and even holds just a hint of romance. Christian Lebano directs this show that is tight with emotion, and is loose with its charm and personality."

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Avatar
"This production is a triumph, because rarely does one have a chance to see a genuine Broadway-level masterpiece played out with such professional skill in their own hometown."

sweet - Annemarie Donkin - Messenger Mountain News - ...read full review


Avatar
"Playwright Colburn cannily wrings every ounce of comedy from Martin's bad temper, creating a pair of richly memorable characters by filling in their back-story and revealing what they have in common. Along the way, he examines the plight of seniors stuck, sometimes unwillingly, in old age homes. Director Christian Lebano captures every available nuance and draws terrific performances from his actors. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Neal Weaver - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar
"Wonderful production, don't miss it!"

sweet - Carol Edger-Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Rare is the play that offers actors of Social Security check-receiving age the chance to take center stage, and equally rare are performers capable of captivating an audience for nearly two hours without a hitch. The Gin Game, starring Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James, does both to indelible effect."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott
"D. L. Coburn hangs his deeply affecting tale about ageism onto a marathon Gin Game in a retirement home back in the late 70s. Husband and wife team, Katherine James and Alan Blumenfeld play Fonsia Dorsey and Weller Martin, respectively. Both have wound up in the Bentley Home for the Aged, a low-income retirement facility and they soon became friends over Weller's obsession with the game of Gin Rummy. Under Christian Lebano's well paced dynamic, their relationship builds slowly until the play's explosive ending."

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Frances Baum Nicholson
"An articulate, well-known play is produced with great polish and passion. The visuals are evocative. The performers are impressive. The net result is well worth the price of admission."

sweet - Frances Baum Nicholson - Pasadena Star News - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"Weller and Fonsia are both intelligent people, but with character flaws that have turned almost every decision they ever made into a wrong move. At this stage of their lives they are desperate to hold onto some semblance of personal dignity now that they are alone, penniless, not physically well, and living in profoundly “reduced circumstances” as the Victorian novelists used to say. The card games they play recall nothing so much as the famous chess match between the medieval knight Antonius Block and Death in Ingmar Bergman's 1957 classic film The Seventh Seal, set during the black plague. The absurdist course of these innocent games will end up determining the fate of these two tragic, lonely people who seem at any moment as if they could be each other's salvation. The Gin Game is helmed by the award-winning Artistic Director of Sierra Madre Playhouse Christian Lebano, who probably didn't have to work too hard to bring out these masterful actors' perfect senses of timing and tone. There is not a false note in the show."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar
"It's amusing, it's witty, it's sober, and even holds just a hint of romance. Christian Lebano directs this show that is tight with emotion, and is loose with its charm and personality."

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review