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BWW Review: A GAMBLERS GUIDE TO DYING at 59E59 is Intriguing

"See that feeling you've got like you might have won, that's the best bet."

-A Gambler's Guide to Dying

A stunning and original one-man show, A Gambler's Guide to Dying is now onstage at 59E59 Theaters through April 23rd. Written and performed by Gary McNair and directed by Gareth Nicholls, this is one to experience. It is a dramatic, yet humorous and touching account that traces the life of a compulsive gambler. The show kicks off this year's highly acclaimed Brit's Off Broadway Fest at 59E59 Theaters.

A Gambler's Guide to Dying is the tale of a young boy's grandfather, a gambling man, who won 620 pounds betting on the 1966 soccer World Cup. Although he has experienced a long losing streak, he regularly places bets with local bookies and brings his grandson along to help choose the winners. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the gambler makes the biggest bet of all against his own death, a wager that he will survive to the year 2000. It's a longshot with a payout that could leave his family with a small fortune. This is a intriguing story about a man who chooses to live by his own rules.

Gary McNair's solo performance is absolutely superb as he seamlessly assumes multiple roles to bring A Gambler's Guide to Dying to life. From grandfather to grandson, schoolteacher to classmate, each character portrayed by McNair is dynamic and adds a unique perspective to the plot.

The Creative Team has done a great job of bringing the show to the New York stage. They include dramaturgy by Gareth Nicholls; sound design and composition by Michael John McCarthy; lighting design by Simon Hayes; additional text and dramaturgy by Katy McAulay. The Company Stage Manager is Fiona Johnston and the AEA Stage Manager is Whitney M. Keeter. The Producer is Tom Searle for Show and Tell.

A Gambler's Guide to Dying an ideal production for its intimate performance space. 59E59 Theaters wins on this show. See it while it is on its limited engagement in the metro area.

A Gambler's Guide to Dying is presented by Show and Tell, in association with The Traverse Theatre Company. The show runs for 70 minutes with no intermission and will be performed at 59E59 Theaters through April 23rd. The theater is located at 59 East 59 Street (between Madison and Park Avenues). For tickets, call 212.279.4200 and visit

Photo Credit: Benjamin Cowie

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From This Author Marina Kennedy