In D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Gin Game, a man and a woman living in a drab retirement home meet over a game of gin rummy. They ruminate about their pasts, only to realize that they've led lives of emotional inhibition. And the playwright calls this a comedy? In fact it was Coburn's ability to make such subject matter both poignant and funny that garnered him the prestigious award. Coburn based the play on the experiences of an elderly aunt and his own love of the card game. In the play Fonsia Dorsey beats Weller Martin hand after hand. Although they crack wise with each other, the duo digs deep with their comments, reviewing their lives and realizing how much people depend upon each other. Tony Award winners Julie Harris and Charles Durning starred in the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of the play, and they're now touring with the show, which opens tonight at 8 p.m. at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse (70 Royal Poinciana Plaza, Palm Beach) before moving to the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale. Ticket prices range from $39 to $42.50. Call 561-659-3309. See "Stage" capsules for a complete schedule.
Considering that Miles Davis was a huge influence on many jazz musicians, it's quite a compliment when the master himself tries to emulate another musician's sound. That's exactly what happened to piano player Ahmad Jamal sometime in the '50s, when Davis heard Jamal and was impressed especially by the pianist's ability to control the volume of his trio's performance by leading with his piano. Davis soon told his piano player to do the same, and he borrowed from Jamal's repertoire. But he wasn't the only well-known musician to flatter Jamal with imitation. Five years after Jamal's 1955 recording of "Pavanne," the song's melody served as the basis of John Coltrane's "Impressions." Davis and Coltrane have left their legacies behind, but Jamal is still at it; he released his latest album, Nature: The Essence, Pt. 3, last year. He plays tonight at 7:45 p.m. at the Broward Center For the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $27.50. Call 954-468-1541.