Hitting the Cycle: Nine Short Plays about Baseball | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Hitting the Cycle: Nine Short Plays about Baseball


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe



If one judged theater by the same criteria used for ball games, Famous Door's lineup of nine baseball-related plays would be the best night game of the summer. Packed with action, emotionally riveting, unpredictable, and peppered with excellent performances, keen observations, and moments of sheer poetry (despite occasional strikeouts), the evening offers more entertainment value than anything going on at Clark and Addison or 35th and Shields. Alas, theater audiences are not as forgiving (or as drunk) as the crowds at baseball games, and for them the dim-wittedness of Quincy Long's musical burlesque on the Pete Rose-Bart Giamatti controversy or the banality of Arthur Kopit's observations on the aftermath of the baseball strike might spoil the rest of a clever, imaginative show. But those seeking a gloriously serene evening in the stands watching a couple home runs and a few good plays will no doubt be satisfied by the poetic charm of Heather McDonald's Rain and Darkness, the grim wit of Howard Korder's monologue Ted Williams, and Larry Neumann's balanced and hilarious performance in Eric Overmyer's Zen baseball monologue, The Dalai Lama Goes Three for Four. With better pacing and stronger all-around performances than last year, Famous Door's show is the theatrical equivalent of a low-scoring, error-free ball game--not an all-star game, but after all we're in Chicago. Famous Door Theatre Company, Jane Addams Center Hull House, 3212 N. Broadway, 773-404-8283. Through August 24: Fridays-Saturdays, 8 PM; Sundays, 7 PM. $14-$17.

--Adam Langer

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?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →