Announced as fifth play of '97-'98 season

Patrick Marber’s comic drama “Dealer’s Choice” will be the fifth play of the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum’s 1997-98 season, it was announced Monday.

The play replaces the previously scheduled “House Arrest,” by Anna Deavere Smith. Previews begin April 5 with the play opening April 16 and running through May 31.

“Dealer’s Choice,” set in a London restaurant, follows an all-night poker game between six men whose competitive drives provide gist for wry humor and emotional turmoil. The play will be directed by Robert Egan, the Taper producing director, who’s recent credits include “Skylight” and last season’s “Arcadia.”

Marber recently nabbed an Olivier Award for Best Play with his new work “Closer.”

“Dealer’s Choice” was previously produced in London by the Royal National Theatre, where it received critical kudos.

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