The Gin Game | Apollo Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Gin Game Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 31 2014

Expecting a harmless museum piece, I was unprepared for the darkness within this 1977 Pulitzer Prize-winning two-hander. The setup is simple enough: Weller (Paul Tinsley) is grumpy but sweet, Fonsia (Patricia Tinsley) spacey but endearing; they play gin in a nursing home. Before too long, though, Weller's outsize anger toward Fonsia (who keeps winning) reveals a seething rage; in Colburn's vision, it would seem, women ruin husbands and sons. (I'd call this representative of a bygone era, but then Neil LaBute comes to mind.) As Weller grows violent, the game turns ugly, and it's hard to know why Fonsia keeps playing. At its best, Colburn's dialogue moves toward Albee-level accusation throwing—but without the history of a George and Martha, the effect is bathos. —Suzanne Scanlon

Price: $25

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