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Games of Chance 

A room somewhere in Dublin containing four soused Irishmen playing high-stakes poker: this is the straightforward setting of Conor McPherson's play The Seafarer. The hard-boozing quartet are joined by a stranger from the past, one Mr. Lockhart, who proceeds to show them the devil of a time. Pun intended. Lockhart is The Devil incarnate, but he's meant to be a believable and even a sympathetic character. McPherson took inspiration for his play from Celtic folklore, specifically a myth originating in County Wicklow concerning some English card-playing aristocratic landlords, a debauched poker game, and a surprise visit from an enigmatic, cloven-footed stranger. The West End Players Guild performs The Seafarer at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday (January 6 through 15) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 Union Boulevard; 314-367-0025 or www.westendplayers.org), and tickets are $15 to $20 through www.brownpapertickets.com. Step out to see it -- cloven feet permitting, that is.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 6. Continues through Jan. 15, 2012

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