Hit Man: The Hack Wilson Story | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Hit Man: The Hack Wilson Story

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With an 18-inch neck and dainty size-six feet, Hack Wilson should have been too top-heavy to walk, much less play baseball. But he spent 12 seasons in the majors, 6 of them with the Cubs, and in 1930 he hit 56 homers and a record 191 RBIs. Playwright Jon Kaplan thinks Wilson deserves to be better known, and would be if he hadn't been such a lush. Kaplan's got it wrong. The tension between Wilson's formidable skills and terrible thirst is what makes him worth remembering. Flat-footed and deadly trite, this moralistic portrayal drains the excitement out of Wilson's high times, the pain out of his failures, the allure out of his women, and turns him into a sloppy dolt you'd ignore even if he was buying. Through 10/30: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3:30 PM. Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090. $22-$25.

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