This week, I’m heading to the Nexus Game Fair, and I hope to see you there. Either way, if you can make it over to Madison, Wisconsin, this weekend or the next, do yourself a grand favor and go see Of Dice and Men at the Bartlett Theatre. I went to see it with my daughter, Helen, on Saturday night, and it was fantastic.
It’s the story of a long-time gaming group hitting a crisis point that’s gong to determine the fate of both its players and their characters. If you’re a gamer, you’ll love all the references and in-jokes, but you don’t need to have ever rolled a d20 to appreciate the great job the cast and crew do with the damn fine script. While gaming makes the framework for the story, it touches on universal themes like love, loyalty, and friendship, making it the kind of play that anyone can appreciate.
And hey, it includes pretty stunning cardboard-box dragon as part of the set too.
Helen and I loved it.
Producer Justin Schober had asked me to do a talkback after the show, and about a third of the audience stuck around to chat while I sat on stage with Justin and the cast. I had a wonderful time cheering on gaming and explaining some of its history, and Justin and the cast were warm, funny, and fun.
Tomorrow night, May 25, and my friend Skip Williams of Dungeons & Dragons fame is hosting the talkback. My pal John Kovalic (of Dork Tower, Munchkin, and Apples to Apples renown) steps up to help after the May 26 show. The playwright himself, Cameron McNary, will be there after the performance on May 27.
If you can manage it, find some time to see it. You’ll love it too.