24 February 2004 | LexAveNYC
a sentimental favorite
When I saw The Gin Game on Broadway in 1977 with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy I thought for sure I had seen the best play ever.
Then when I saw Charles Durning and Julie Harris perform it again on Broadway 20 years later, with my fiancee, I said "Okay, this is it. This one is the best."
Then last night I was flipping channels. I saw the card table and I realized what it was: "Look, it's The Gin Game!" I said to my bride, "Are you kidding me, it's Dick Van Dyck and Mary Tyler Moore."
I loved it. I think you can do more with a dramatic play on television, believe it or not.
Cheery Dick Van Dyck was an almost convincing Weller, but Mary is too sweet for a Fonsia. I am quite certain I saw Julie Harris stand up, lean over the table, shove the cards in Charles Durning's face and bellow triumphantly "Gin, F*cking Gin!". There's no way our dear Mary Richards would ever say that! :-)
The portrayals in this version are more subtle. You catch more of it in this version: The excellent script doesn't get lost in the commotion.
A great show. Don't miss it!