The Cherokee Community Theater will be kicking off its 50th year of productions on January 15 with the presentation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Gin Game."
"The Gin Game" is a two-person, two-act tragi-comedy by D.L. Coburn, and is set in a care facility for senior citizens. Two of the facility's residents, Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsey, strike up a acquaintance and, as neither seems to have any other friends or family, they start to enjoy each other's company.
Martin teaches Dorsey how to play gin rummy, and she soon begins to win every game. While playing their games, the two begin to engage in lengthy conversations about their families and their lives, and each conversation becomes a battle, much like the on-going gin games, as each player tries to expose the other's weaknesses, belittle the other's life, and humiliate the other thoroughly.
The famed husband-and-wife acting team of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy portrayed Weller and Fonsia on Broadway for 577 performances in 1977-78, directed by Mike Nichols. Tandy won the 1978 Tony award for Best Actress in a Play and the play itself won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Cronyn and Tandy reprised their roles for television in 1981, and Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore starred in a 2002 television production. It was also revived on Broadway in 1997, starring Charles Durning and Julie Harris, and received several Tony Award nominations again.
The Cherokee Community Theater production is being directed by Andrew Linn, and the veteran performer also plays the role of Weller Martin. Mollie Loughlin portrays Fonsia Dorsey.
"The Gin Game" will be presented at the Cherokee Community Center on January 15, 16 ,17, 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. A 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, January 25, will conclude the performances.
General admission tickets are sold by reservation only, so call 225-4440 today to reserve a seat. The cost of a ticket is $10.
A word of caution: If you are offended by occasional "R-rated" adult language, you may want to think about that before ordering a ticket, especially for a child.