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Friday, September 28, 2012

Beacon Bits -- Local Drama

When you mention the play The Gin Game, you automatically think of Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. You can't help but make the strong association between the very talented, married thespian couple and the classic drama about getting old and feeling neglected secondary to being placed in an "old folks home." So you may understand my hesitation about going to the production at The Beacon Theatre on a beautiful, early autumn afternoon on Sunday 9/23/12. But my ambivalence about attending the performance was softened as soon as I saw the creatively designed set by Jim Brady in the lobby space where plays, comedy shows and concerts have been taking place during the past two years since the benefit kick-off was held in the fall 2010 and while funds continue to be raised for the complete renovation of the entire building.
My doubts about attending the play were totally erased when Angus Hepburn, playing the irascible, yet lovable, Weller Martin, appeared on stage, soon to be followed by his wife, Stephanie Hepburn, playing the part of the sensitive, secretive and very lucky Fonsia Dorsey; the Hepburn's, with impressive credentials in NYC off Broadway repertory theater, are now local Beaconites, lucky for us. They previously appeared in  the Beacon Theatre's production of Finnegan's Rainbow and hopefully will star in another production very soon; they are a powerhouse duo that are not to be missed. Performances of The Gin Game are scheduled for the weekend of 9/28-9/30 (Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm.) Hopefully, the word is out and the final performances will be well-attended; the Hepburns so deserve a full house. Or is that gin?

Some food for thought:  4th Wall Productions are to be congratulated on their choice and production of this serious comedy about aging, which might make baby boomers cringe, but will certainly give everyone something to think about as health care policies, including medicaid payment for nursing home care, are currently a hot debate in American politics. Whether someone visits a relative in a nursing home or fears being relegated to one at the end of life, the topic cannot be avoided. Focusing on a serious matter while using humor and quirky characters, The Gin Game is a classic gem. Fonsia, so lucky in winning each hand of cards seems to prove the familiar adage true: 'lucky in cards, unlucky in love.' But when it comes to aging, we all need a little bit of luck and a a whole lot of love.
 

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