With season tickets to ACT, I'm getting to see the full range of their performances. The Black Rider was surreal and had beautiful set design, but ultimately the story didn't quite gel. It seemed like so much actor-bation. The Real Thing was good, but I expect a bit more from a Tom Stoppard play at this point. It just didn't quite stack up against Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead or Arcadia. The Gamester was pure delight. The story is the classic sort of Shakespearean type farcical romantic comedy, with the lovers, the complication, and the neat resolutions at the end, but the telling was gorgeous. Strong attention was paid to physical characterization, probably best typified by Hector's walk. There was a chase scene akin to a Monkees or Scooby Doo episode, complete with background music. The costumes were gorgeous. The leading lady was perfection both in her pure pink finery and her cross-dressed country boy outfit. Little things like explaining how to play dice, and having the student take the advice of "throw the dice" to mean throwing them away... off stage... and hitting a backstage player in the head who comes out holding his eye to return the dice. Or the magical twinkling sounds and light that occurred every time Angelique's portrait came out of a pocket. Or Madame Securite' pulling the bullwhip from her cleavage... twice. Or the Duke Argente's asking his hair, "Where have you gone to?" Anyway, it was priceless. I'd cheerfully go see it again. All in all, it was a positively lovely evening, complete with a quick dinner a Quiznos before hand and yummy dessert at Lori's Diner with Fred and Malaya afterward.