Cooperstown Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 20 2009

The diner-as-civil-rights-crucible conceit got a workout in August Wilson's Two Trains Running, but Brian Golden takes it up again in this world premiere with Theatre Seven of Chicago. It's 1962 and Jackie Robinson's induction into the baseball hall of fame triggers a chain reaction at the white-owned eatery run--but, crucially, not managed--by a black former ballplayer called Junior. Golden goes to unexpected places in this humane and often witty play, directed with a light hand by Brian Stojak, but the stakes never reach fever pitch. The cast--especially Tracey Kaplan as a waitress equally obsessed with Bob Dylan and baseball and Chance Bone as her would-be paramour--deliver warmhearted performances that demand attention even as the story bogs down in expository monologues. --Kerry Reid

Price: $12-$18.

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