I’m not really a fan of baseball. In fact, when I was 13 and went with my little brother to see the Cubs in Chicago, I rooted for the Montreal team because I thought they were cuter. Obviously, my brother never took me to another game. However, Going…Going…GONE, written by 30-year veteran and Emmy Award-winning writer/sportscaster Ken Levine is not only hilarious, it has a message as well.
Newspapers are dying. It’s a shame, but a fact. So out of what had once been a full press box at the ball game, only three writers remain – Dennis (David Babich) official scorer for the game, Mason (Dennis Pearson) who works for the LA Times, and Big Jim (Troy Metcalf), a baseball blogger. They are joined by TV sports reporter Shana (Annie Abrams) who changes the tone of their conversations.
Having been head writer on M*A*S*H* and producer on Cheers, as well as creating several sitcoms of his own, Levine uses his wit and knowledge of comedy and story to produce a home run. While the story is set against the backdrop of a baseball game, you don’t have to understand the game to enjoy the play. It’s really about the characters, the reality they now face, and giving as good as they get in ruthless digs, blatant sexism, and political incorrectness, even as they explore where they are in life now.
What do you want to be remembered for? How important is that – really? Are you living your life in a way that fulfills you now? And what changes do you need to make to achieve what you really need in your life? What is that moment of clarity? The message comes across loud and clear, especially when Shana talks about the Book of Life as expressed in this week’s Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) services.
A surprise twist near the end changes the lives of all the characters and emphasizes the message that we need to be who we are supposed to be and not give into what we think others want from us, especially when it is not in our best interest.
Directed by Andrew Barnicle, (formerly of Laguna Playhouse) the team includes set designer Gary Lee Reed, lighting designer Derrick McDaniel, sound designer Cricket S. Myers and costume designer Mylette Nora. It was up to casting director Michael Donovan to cast the fabulous actors. Emyli Gudmundson is stage manager, while Racquel Lehrman of Theatre Planners produced along with associate producer Victoria Watson.
You will laugh so hard that you cry – and you might even learn a bit about baseball.
Going…Going…GONE – 90 minutes without intermission - plays at the 43 seat Hudson Guild Theatre until November 6, 2016 – Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be had from plays411 or at 323 960 5521. There is valet parking $7, down the street.