You will be enchanted by this tale of one man’s battle against the futility of an ordinary life. In Gary McNair’s poignant story the marvelous Maury Sterling creates a number of finely delineated characters.
Sterling is a young man (you’ve seen him on Homeland) with an uncanny ability to transform before your eyes. A one-man play can be peopled vividly when you have an actor who transforms and Sterling is masterly at changing personas.
This is the tale of a granddad, an eye-twinkling Scot, who was addicted to gambling and, while ecstatic when he wins, is mischievously delighted when he loses. This Gambler goes for the impossible and, when he battles against his own death from incurable cancer wonders - what are the odds and are they beatable?
Yet the wisdom of McNair’s play is that never losing hope means you are having a winning streak. Go see this play as it clearly states what life is worth and that it’s only fear of taking chances that holds us back from living.
With just a bare stage, a chair and old sports footage, we are taken to the Scottish Highlands through our imagination and the actors dynamic. Director Paul Linke allows the poetic beauty of the play to shine through with the utmost simplicity aided by lighting by Mike Reilly, sound by Chip Bolcik, and costume by Sarah Figoten.
At Ruskin Group Theatre, 3000 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, through April 29.
Tickets at (310) 397-3244 or www.ruskingrouptheatre.com. Ample free parking. Photos by Ed Krieger.
Also reviewed in the April issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY.