12th Avenue Arts Capitol Hill
May 23–June 22, Mondays and Fridays–Sundays
By Rich Smith
The play’s problem, under Greg Carter’s direction, is a split premise. Act I focuses on the ripple effects of a star baseball player, Darren Lemming, who casually comes out as gay at a press conference. Darren’s admission triggers a crisis of masculinity within his teammates, who all react in their own strange homophobic ways, except for Kippy, whose support for Darren becomes overbearing. At this point I’m thinking I’m going to get a story about the gay guy who challenges a homophobic institution, an exploration of denial and internalized oppression, etc., all of which sounds great. But then, in Act II, a stranger comes to town. The team owner hires a racist, illiterate, golden-armed pitcher named Shane Mungitt. Suddenly, the focus of the play shifts to: “What are we gonna do about Shane, a clichéd metaphor for the most obvious forms of racism and homophobia in America?” The shift in focus makes Act I feel irrelevant, and I started to get the sense that Greenberg and Carter were more excited merely to present a lot of titillating questions about race, gender, class, and sexuality rather than say anything about them.