This post is about TWO separate theater outings: THE GIN GAME on Wednesday, November 4th and KING CHARLES III on Wednesday, December 2nd. Both are matinees at 2pm. However, these both have the same quick-quick deadline (Sept 17th – eeeeeck) so you have to respond pronto-pronto. You’ve got to hand it to our in-house impresario, Meg F – she didn’t let the utter kookiness of getting our HAMILTON tix get in the way of planning for this Fall ! Thank you, Meg !
In THE GIN GAME James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson are reprising the Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy roles from the 1977, truly loved, Pulitzer-prize winning classic which will be on Broadway for a limited run of 16 weeks. Can you use the word “touching” without thinking corny and clichéd? That happens to be the word that comes to mind as this character study mines the relationship between two nursing home inmates – oops, residents – (named Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsia) who become acquainted by playing gin rummy together over the course of several weeks. After Weller teaches Fonsia how to play she has the irritating habit of always winning. As Weller becomes increasingly frustrated and Fonsia more confident, their conversations become more personal and they reveal bits about their families, their futures and the world beyond the nursing home. The conversations turn very sharp and into a bit of a battleground and arena for one-upmanship– just like the gin rummy they’re playing.
So, yes, while indeed “touching” this tragi-comedy is neither corny nor clichéd. It’s full of difficult, sharp-shooter insight bravely admitted at the end of life. It’s about aging and loss and, finally, knowing oneself – and still allowing for a bit of fun and sense of achievement despite the circumstances. That this production of THE GIN GAME – always a star turn for a pair of well-matched and accomplished actors – is featuring the 84-year old Jones and the 90-year old Tyson makes this particularly poignant.
The Royal Gang’s all there in KING CHARLES III – everyone, that is, except the recently departed Queen Elizabeth. The Olivier Award winning play, written by Mike Bartlett (in a very Shakespearean iambic pentameter, no less) is being called a “future history play” which conjures up just what might happen if and when Prince Charles ascends the English throne after his mother’s death. And in this rendition, with the hyper-opinionated next generation ever-present there’s lot of political intrigue as everyone jockeys for power. The newly ascended and very paranoid King Charles III subverts tradition and refuses to give his seal of approval to the wishes of the elected government.
The plotline used to advance the play (legislation related to restrictions on the press) is primarily a construct to let the audience get into the head which will wear the crown. The question of how to rule – one which only a handful of people have ever had to answer – is front and center. KING CHARLES III had a wildly successful run in London last year and is now having its turn on Broadway. For those of you who were able to see THE AUDIENCE with Helen Mirren last Spring, KING CHARLES III is a spectacular theatrical book-end.
DETAILS: Because there are TWO plays here, there will be TWO links in the Reservations/ Payment section on the Members’ website. DEADLINE: September 17th. Tickets for THE GIN GAME are $119. each. Tickets for KING CHARLES III are $136. each.