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Georgia Ensemble Theatre1
Average Rating Given : 5.00000
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REVIEWS

The Men of Mah Jongg, by Richard Atkins
The Tiles That Bind. What a fantastic ride!
Friday, January 8, 2010
5.0
You wouldn't think that four older Jewish guys sitting around talking about mourning, medications, maladies and Mah Jongg would be so compelling. Well, think again! The play carries considerable clout and packs a real wallop in your gut as well as your funny-bone. The main character of Sid, a sixty something widower who lives alone in his Upper West Side apartment in New York City is both incorrigible and a loving father. Faced with mounting physical and emotional problems and his daughter‘s deteriorating relationship with her dead-beat husband who is involved in some kind of white collar crime, Sid has the weight of the world on his shoulders. And the actor playing Sid is wonderful! Sid's best friend Marv, equally competent as an actor, visits him regularly for companionship, delivers his medications and is Sid's main caregiver, but when Marv's wife's health issues accelerate, Marv is faced with yet another challenge. To top if off, Sid gets a DVD in the mail addressed to his deceased wife on "How to Be a Champion At Mah Jongg" as his wife was an avid Mah Jongg player and tries to get the other guys to play Mah Jongg as a tribute to his dearly departed. It is then that the fireworks begin. Both playwright and director seem to have woven a tight script illustrating that great comedy can be born out of great pathos. You'll laugh and cry and experience just about every emotion you may have in you, but in the end, you'll come away with quite a lot. I hear the playwright is adapting the play for the screen and has Alan Arkin pegged to star. I'll be first in line for that one!

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