Favorite

‘Game’ effort 

The Gin Game The Public Theatre May 27 For the past two weeks the Public Theater has staged the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “The Gin Game,” written by D. L. Coburn and winner of four Tony awards, including best play and best direction by Mike Nichols in the play’s Broadway revival in 1997. Many directors nationwide have tried to emulate Nichols’ original production. No doubt local director Fran Austin found the play a difficult piece to maneuver with its weighty themes of life-long regret and self-sabotage as a means of dealing with the disappointment of growing old. And with only two acting roles to tell the story, Michael Davis and Candace Hynkle certainly worked hard to catch all the subtle character arcs that give this play its poignancy, but they still pulled it off impressively. Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsey are two bitter and lost souls on the last leg of their life stuck in a “slum” of a nursing home, where nurses are indifferent and utterly absent from the stage, and funerals are the hot topic of discussion. In order to escape their regrets, Weller and Fonsia play games of gin in an isolated corner of the home and share some flirty conversation. While Fonsia is a conservative lady brought up where playing cards was considered a sin and foul language was never heard, Weller considers these virtues admirable, but small at best. For Weller, indulging in the bitterness of a wasted life is better than ignoring it — as Fonsia does — and every other word out of his mouth is a curse — especially when playing gin. Weller’s edgy personality puts Fonsia off a bit, but she nevertheless finds his charm hard to resist. So, as she appeases Weller with a game of gin, she finds herself with a bit of beginner’s luck winning every hand in a matter of minutes. It doesn’t take too long for Weller’s pride to explode in anger with a card table flung against the wall. At times the performance seemed admittedly amateur with forgotten lines and awkwardly halting dialogue, but the more important aspects of the characters were acted with empathy, expressive body language and vocal performance. — By Dustin Allen
Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Dustin Allen

  • Hot hit

    BENTON — The Royal Players’ production of “Guys and Dolls” is a treat for those wanting to catch a great family event at the tail end of summer, complete with great acting performances and a live quartet that -– despite the musical’s New York setting –-
    • Aug 25, 2005
  • Chillin’ on Easy Street

    Jazz and New York-style piano sounds are found in Little Rock’s theater neighborhood.
    • Aug 18, 2005
  • Much ado for Rep

    With the production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” the Rep, for the first time all year at shows this reviewer has attended, lives up to its reputation for being Arkansas’s leading voice in theater. For all the talent available to the Rep ov
    • Jul 7, 2005
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.
  • Denny Altes resigns as state drug czar

    Former legislator Denny Altes of Fort Smith, appointed state drug prevention director by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in May 2015, resigned today effective July 1.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.

Latest in Theater Reviews

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tollywood tumble

    • Thank you for sharing.
      Telugu Film Actress Gallery
      http://www.moviemanthra.com/english/category/actress/

    • on May 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation