Two Saturdays ago I was able to score extremely-cheap-practically-free tickets to The Gin Game. I thought it was a great primer before seeing the new Star Wars movie – it was the voice of Darth Vadar! On stage! I made the cheesy request to go to Bourbon Street on Restaurant Row beforehand and my dude obliged. I had very little idea what The Gin Game was about – though I assumed it was probably about gin rummy – but it didn’t matter. It was James Earl Jones and Cecily Tyson onstage! Two of the oldest people still acting, I think. (Probably not, but let’s just go with it.) And they’re both still amazing. You know what else was amazing? Our seats. Fifth row, orchestra, dead center. I could’ve touched James Earl Jones with my lightsaber (if i owned one).
About a pair of senior citizens living in a rather depressing retirement home in the south, the script is essentially just the two of them playing game after game of gin rummy. Tyson wins every single time, after two or three plays – sometimes five, if Jones is lucky. My boyfriend had semi-jokingly said beforehand, “I just want to see Darth Vadar swear for an hour and a half.” Well, he got what he wanted. His character had quite the temper and he swore and threw things around, a lot.
It gets really dark and I ended up really feeling badly for the both of them. They’re both fantastic – duh. It was an odd and unexpected play, but highly entertaining.