Bang the Drum Slowly | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Bang the Drum Slowly


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Ever see a production irretrievably sunk by a single moment? That's what happens in this staging of Eric Simonson's 1992 adaptation of Mark Harris's 1956 novel (also a 1973 movie). The tone of Simonson's ball-club tearjerker, about a dim-witted catcher with a fatal illness, is understandably macho. The only sustained evocation of emotion is indirect, when one of the ballplayers sings "Streets of Laredo"--performed in Tony Adams's staging by someone who's not only tone-deaf but doesn't give the lyrics any feeling. That deep-sixes a production that's already somewhat stiff and flat, partly because few of the actors show the aggressive, fidgety physicality of professional athletes. The exception is Jim Poole, wonderfully pugnacious as the coach. Through 7/1: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Steep Theatre, 3902 N. Sheridan, 312-458-0722, $15.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment