W.C. Fields By Himself!: Dale Morris Revives the Famous Curmudgeon
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The last date listed for W.C. Fields By Himself! was Sunday September 30, 2012 / 3:00pm.
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Gin Game is an intimate and poignant drama about Fonsia, a woman in her twilight years who enters a "home for the aged" and is for a while saved from melancholy by the crusty charm of Weller. Over a series of gin games the two seemingly become close companions, revealing much about their regret-filled lives -- until Weller's pent-up rage and Fonsia's subtle needling build to a confrontation. A long-running Broadway hit, The Gin Game has subsequently toured the world and been adapted for television twice, most recently with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Learn More
There is street parking but it can be tough. Pay parking is within easy walking distance.info • Feb 23 2013 star this tip starred
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from the reflective viewerRed Velvet
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Worth a visit.
In the grubby edge of downtown, up 4 flights of stairs (there is an elevator) in a room I am certain has a history before theater, a talented ensemble is putting on a new biography of WC. The title is by himself but the able Dale Morris who has Fields down well is not by himself and that appears a good decision. His two partners playing many roles are excellent and Eva Barnes has a fine comic touch going from little girl to old woman and all between.
I was not expecting too much. The recent Mae West show was not too revealing. Morris goes deeper using a lot more film clips, third party quotes and a few re-enactments. You get a sense of the guy effectively. Another reviewer saw an early preview and we can report that whatever problems existed are essentially gone. Technically, in execution and scenery this seemed quite ready for prime time if not yet a perfect show.
The challenge with performer biographies is the question is there anything more there then what we saw on stage or screen. It is always possible we got the best and the back story is not an improvement. I am still debating that about WC, whether what we learned enhanced what was available to the public or just put the sad edge of decline that people in many other lives experience. We are not dealing with Plato or Caesar, trying to get through levels and levels of reality.
At this moment my conclusion is it was a good job of portraying a flawed and fun entertainer quite unique in his persona. It did not show me a real that one would not guess at but I can live with that. Spending 80 minutes with WC well presented and this bright ensemble is no sacrifice. Go.
Quotes & Highlights
- "Dale Morris is a gifted actor and played a great W.C. Fields, which is hard to do." --Allen Fields, WC's grandson
- "[Fred Harlow is] a cross between Zero Mostel and Fred Flintstone ... one could really see [Eva Barnes'] heartfelt affection for W.C." --<em>SD Reviews </em>
- "Morris has meticulously researched his subject." -- <em>North County Times </em>
September 29, 2012 at 3:00pm: A talkback with the cast, playwright, and members of the Fields family follows this performance.