I just got home from seeing the Cincinnati Reds crush the Milwaukee Brewers. There’s something so upbeat, positive, and hopeful about baseball. Going to a live game is a fun experience; it’s no wonder it’s still consider America’s past time.
So, I wonder why the creators of SATCHEL PAIGE AND THE KANSAS CITY SWING have created a baseball play so dreary and bitter. Overly long, this production suffers from the same problems as FLY – there was an emphasis on style rather than substance. At least with FLY, though, the substance was wrought with drama. PAIGE is a bleak character study.
It didn’t need to be.
Most of the acting was good, especially the work of Robert Karma Robinson as the title character. With a better script, he would have shone brighter. Also, the technical aspects of the show were spectacular. The rain, the lightning, the turntable and set design all work well. And I can’t find anything wrong with the acting, minus one of the performers who, on opening night, didn’t have a basic grasp on his lines. In theatre at this level, this is inexcusable.
Fans of baseball, swing music, or historical fiction may be drawn to this play – and I hope lots of people see it. And I hope lots of people think it’s a home run! But for me, it was a strike out.
SATCHEL PAIGE AND THE KANSAS CITY SWING runs through May 21st at the Playhouse in the Park. Click here for more information.