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'Gin Game' delights on many levels...

Jul 26 2010
Marilyn Bauer | TCPalm Newspaper

It's easy to see that Barbara Bradshaw and Peter Haig have acted in more than 40 productions together. Seated center stage at a rickety card table in second-hand chairs on a seen-better-days porch, Bradshaw as Fonsia Dorsey and Haig as Weller Martin play welfare residents of an old-age home. In the cocoon of the well-designed set festooned with cast offs...the couple teeter on the edge of connection. But the synaptic paths formed in the past are just too difficult to override and after a comical first act of complaining, wheezing and kvetching about the staff, the war of cards escalates into a war of wills. Haig has honed his performance as an old coot consumed with a rage simmering just below the surface. He moves effortlessly between moments of pure charm to irascibility to an aggression born of disappointment and neglect. Bradshaw's Fonsia is a whelping mass of vindictiveness... Bradshaw is adept in physically portraying the many sides of this broken women, not an easy task since Fonsia's core is concealed behind a facade of respectability. There are many comic moments in the show handled with perfect timing. Director, J. Barry Lewis has staged the tight action... "The Gin Game" is in two acts with a 15-minute intermission. It is a little gem of theater, well-acted and provocative.