They played their New York hand all through the summer of 1997, then they stacked the deck in Chicago that fall. Since then, The Gin Game hasn't been played by Julie Harris and Charles Durning, but that's about to change.
D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer-winning comedy/drama played 20 previews and 144 regular performances at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. After that run, The Gin Game played for several weeks at Chicago's Royal George Theatre. According to spokesperson Charlie Siedenburg (at the Springer/Chicoine office), the national tour will begin Oct. 27-Nov. 1 in Raleigh-Durham, NC, and the Charles Nelson Reilly-directed revival will then travel to Cleveland, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Phoenix, winding up in Boston in Apr. 1999. More details on the tour are expected by early July, according to a spokesperson from the Springer/Chicoine press office.
The Gin Game was presented on Broadway under the auspices of Tony Randall's National Actors' Theatre, with Manny Kladitis as executive producer. Randall is the NAT's founder and artistic director.
(NAT had been dormant for a time after George C. Scott's various health and legal problems forced him to leave their production of Inherit The Wind in late May 1996. (Durning was Scott's co-star in Wind.) The NAT juts finished its season with an acclaimed run of Randall and Jack Klugman in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, which ended June 28 at the Lyceum. No word yet on shows slated for `98-99 at the NAT.)
As for Gin Game, Harris is one of Broadway's most distinguished actresses, having won five Tony Awards -- the most ever won by a single actor. Her roles have included Sally Bowles in I Am A Camera (later musicalized as Cabaret), St. Joan in Lillian Hellman's The Lark and as Emily Dickenson in The Belle of Amherst,, also directed by Charles Nelson Reilly. She appeared opposite Durning on Broadway once before, in The Au Pair Man at Lincoln Center. Durning won the Tony for his Big Daddy in 1990's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and has has major roles in That Championship Season, Indians plus many other plays, TV shows and films.
For tickets and information on The Gin Game at the Royal George Theatre, call (312) 988-9000.