Posts Tagged ‘Dealer’s Choice’

“Dealer’s Choice” at Trafalgar Studios

March 11, 2008

Last Tuesday we went to Trafalgar Studios to see “Dealer’s Choice,” following a fine review from the West End Whingers. I dragged along my usual co-conspirator J. as well as Wechsler, figuring a play about poker would be a guaranteed win for an occasionally less-than-enthusiastic theatrical attendee. (J was of course as excited about going as I was.)

Dealer’s Choice is a perfect boy/girl date show, much like the movie Grosse Pointe Blank. The normal “ooh, ick, we’re in the theater” is overcome by the macho atmosphere of poker playing. Well, that’s a fair description, because what this is is, simply, a great play. Set half in the kitchen and dining room of a restaurant and half in its basement (where the after the interval poker game takes place), Dealer’s Choice is an on-the-edge-of-your-seat story with a really interesting cast of characters (a la Ocean’s Eleven). I have to give credit to the great cast and the great writing – there were no minor characters in this play (a real contrast to another “all men” drama, Glengarry Glen Ross, in which every character seemed to talk in the same voice). The poker game becomes a power play between the different characters, and watching them attempt to psyche each other out and figure out each other’s weaknesses sucked me right in, even though my knowledge of gambling is paltry. (Amusingly, the cards played during the show matched exactly what the characters said they’d been dealt – quite a feat of stagecraft in my book.)

At any rate, at £21 per ticket (easily available at half price if you buy online), Dealer’s Choice was a great play and a great night out. I highly recommend it.


Valentine’s day is … for getting yourself something and telling your partner it’s a gift from them to you

February 15, 2008

So I was at the fancy whiskey shop on the Golden Mile Wednesday afternoon, shopping. My options were a 20 quid bottle of five year old hootch and, er, a more expensive bottle of the same thing, but from 1985. I just couldn’t stomach being so cheap as to get the bottle of new stuff – “Happy Valentines day! Hope this isn’t nearly as disappointing as I expect it’s going to be” – so I bought the other one. The man behind the counter was, well, I have to admit, seemingly SHOCKED that I’d gone for the other bottle, but he and his companion were just wreathed in smiles when I told them it was a Valentine’s gift from my husband. “Don’t worry, ” I said, “I’ll be buying some ballet tickets next and telling him they’re his gift to me.”

Anyway, as it works out, fifty pound tickets to Chroma weren’t quite in the range I was looking for, but Thursday did end with hot little tickets to The Homecoming at the Almeida and Dealer’s Choice (highly recommended by the the West End Whingers) in my hands – ostensibly as Valentine’s gifts, bought by me. (No luck with the tickets to Hairspray – which I must see before Michael Ball quits the cast.) I’m not sure what’s up with The Homecoming, but for the entire run a single pair of seats was NOT to be found. However, I have the magic touch and called just after someone had surrendered a pair, so we’re off to see it next week. Dealer’s Choice, well, that’s much easier to get into. What’s killing me is the tickets for Chroma. I saw four seats together show up at one point on the Royal Opera House website yesterday, but – 55 quid each! It really was the best thing I saw all of last year, but I’m just going to have to keep hoping that something shows up in the amphitheather – something with an unobstructed view, thank you very much, as I will see you in hell before I sit in the side slips again.