Dealer's Choice, Patrick Marber's hit London play, is finally in previews for an April 8 Off-Broadway opening at Manhattan Theatre Club.
The production was a question mark for several months when first the author, then David Esjornson (director of the American premiere at Long Wharf Theatre in October 1996) had scheduling problems and were unable to stage the play this spring.
Instead, John Tillinger directs a cast that includes Ritchie Coster, Dermot Crowley, Dan Futterman, Jamie Harris and Byron Jennings.
In Dealer's Choice, Stephen, Mugsy, Sweeney, Frankie and Carl meet for their weekly poker game in the basement of Stephen's restaurant. When Ash, a professional gambler, wants his due, the friendly card game takes an unexpected turn.
Presented by London's Royal National Theatre in 1995, the show won the London Evening Standard Award, the Writers Guild of Great Britain Award, and a Laurence Olivier Award Nomination. The play was also presented in July 1996 as part of the Alliance Theatre's Arts Festival in Atlanta to coincide with the Olympics. Author Patrick Marber has done much of his work to date for radio and television, though he did recently direct Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills for the Royal National Theatre.
Dealer's Choice, which runs at MTC through April 27, has sets by David Gallo, costumes by Laura Cunningham, and lighting by Kenneth Posner.
-- By Robert Viagas