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Through Feb. 18: "The Seafarer"

Harlequin Productions

It's Christmas Eve in Dublin and a group of friends have gathered to play poker. When a stranger joins the game, the stakes rise mercilessly. A gorgeous, haunting and hilarious tale of redemption. Courtesy Photo

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We often speak of a movie or play as a "rollercoaster ride," but it's easy to forget that even the best rides begin with a slow, clanky climb up a hill. In the latter Harry Potter novels, Jo Rowling seemed to relish torturing readers with hundreds of actionless pages, the better to unleash hell toward the end.

Of course, if a writer constructs his or her story this way, then the payoff had better be worth the wait. In the case of Conor McPherson's The Seafarer, boy, is it.

I knew almost nothing about the show when I walked in. "That's good," director Scot Whitney laughed, and like Whitney, I don't want to drop spoilers. Suffice it to say that as we get to know "Sharky" Harkin (Jason Haws) and his blind, irascible brother, Richard (David Wright), we become slowly convinced the play is going nowhere ... and we're wrong.

To read Christian Carvajal's full review, click here.

The Seafarer

Through Feb. 18, 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Harlequin Productions, 202 Fourth Ave., Olympia

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Review: "The Seafarer"

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