Fringe Theater presents The Gin Game, written by DL Coburn and directed by John Reynolds, at the Key West Woman’s Club, located at 319 Duval Street. The 7pm shows will run Feb 15-18 and 21-24.

The production features veteran actors Vanessa McCaffrey and Don Bearden as two feisty residents of a retirement home who pass the time over a seemingly harmless game of gin. But it’s not all fun and games when a winning streak builds tension and pushes boundaries in this tender and volatile play.

“On the surface, the story is simple,” says director John Reynolds, “two lonely strangers engage in a game of cards. But the game quickly becomes a reflection of a lifetime of choices — choices that have put them where they are. It’s a surprisingly difficult script. The emotional build, the mechanics of the card games, and its surprisingly funny.”

The play opened on Broadway with husband-and-wife actors Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. Since then it has enjoyed several revivals including the most recent with Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones.  Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore played the roles in a made-for-TV movie.

Vanessa McCaffrey (who plays Fonsia) grew up in Kenya and has performed on staged in Nairobi, London, Paris, and (for quite some time) Key West. Audiences will remember her from Waterfront’s Inspecting Carol, Fringe’s Blithe Spirit, and Theater XP’s Moment of Grace.  Don Bearden (who plays Weller) worked as a professional actor for several decades before moving to Key West from New York. Audiences will remember him from Waterfront’s 1776, Fringe’s Cock Talk and its Shakespeare in Schools program.

Carole MacCartee is lending her decades of acting and directing expertise to the production.  The show is also supported by Alicia Merel (stage manager), Martha Barnes (props and costume), and Bob Rowand (light designer). The production is sponsored by Zabar’s and realtor Martha Robinson.

Tickets to the Fringe’s production of The Gin Game are $35 general admission and $45 reserved. Seating is limited so advance tickets are encouraged. Tickets can be purchased at www.fringetheater or at 305-731-0581.