It’s not quite a love story and candy and flowers don’t come into play, but Laguna Playhouse has picked “The Gin Game” as it’s quasi-Valentine’s offering available for streaming Feb. 14-16.
Television and theatre veterans Joe Spano (“NCIS,” “Hill Street Blues”) and JoBeth Williams (“Poltergeist,” “The Big Chill”) star in this virtual streamed staged reading presentation of D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, directed by Jenny Sullivan.
“To tell this deeply moving story with such a superb cast is a theatre maker’s dream come true,” said Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our audiences this virtual production of this beautiful and timeless play.”
“The Gin Game” tells the story of longtime nursing home resident Weller Martin (Joe Spano), who has avoided the other patients until newcomer Fonsia Dorsey (JoBeth Williams) engages him in a quiet game of gin rummy. The two strike up a friendship as they share stories about the lives they led in the outside world. But when Fonsia wins every hand, Weller becomes increasingly frustrated, until their gin games and conversations become a battleground, and as each game progresses, a most unexpected climax puts both at odds with each other, their pasts and themselves.
Written in 1977, “The Gin Game” was Coburn’s first play, and ran on Broadway for 516 performances and subsequently toured the nation with its original cast of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy to sold-out houses in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and a half dozen other cities before going on a tour of England and Russia. It has since had productions in virtually every country of the western world, including France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania, Israel, Hungary, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and South Africa, as well as productions in Australia, Japan and China.
In 1978 the play garnered four Tony nominations and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
This video on demand staged reading performance of “The Gin Game” is $20 per household and available for viewing beginning February 14 at noon through February 16 at 10 p.m. Visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com for more details.