They pitch a perfect game – deadlines

If the last week of our entertainment shows us anything, it is that even the most orderly, traditional events can be disrupted by the merciless explosion of ID, spreading like crocodile cries over even our most unexpected heroes. Take me outRichard Greenberg’s 2002 drama, which charts the effects of a star baseball player appearing as a homosexual, begins a revival on Broadway tonight where there is a perfect time to play a triple.

With an impeccable cast led by Jesse Williams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Patrick J. Adams, Take me out It could also be a revelation to those who saw the original Broadway production almost 20 years ago. My recollection of the play is Sports-Star-Comes-Out Angle, a then-novel concept that has become, over time, if not common, at least unheard of.

What strikes me right now about Greenberg’s finely crafted story is the various dominoes that riot after it comes out, especially how hate speech, in all its heinous ignorance and cruelty, can spread its way to the most unlikely places, slim connecting itself with them. By ‘Never assumed that could be sensitive, forcing the heroes to do heroic deeds. No one seems to be telling us, Greenberg, that when bigotry and hatred come, it goes literally.

A little background for those who were completely new to the 21st century and did not read the sports pages. Professional baseball player Billy Bean came out as a homosexual after retiring from the game, and mentioned in an interview that only a player with Derek Jeter’s stardom could possibly come out while playing ball. Meanwhile, John Rocker, an Atlanta Braves player, made headlines when he described New York City as racist and homophobic.

Ferguson, Williams
Joan Marcus

Let Greenberg, the late-life baseball transformer, turn his head to create those real-life images with his new obsession. Take me out.

The play begins with New York Empire ball player Kipi Sunderstrom addressing the audience, trying to describe exactly when the “whole mess” began – and the seriousness with which he speaks lets us quickly know that the “whole mess” is not coming out. Something bad, very bad, happened with the Empire, and Greenberg took his time before the revelation.

So, as Kippi does, let’s get started. One morning Darren Lemming (very good Jesse Williams) said to himself, “What happened? I’m Darren Lemming and that’s a good thing. “Right now, Lemming – the emperor’s jet-like, unrivaled mixed-race star – told reporters he was gay. The man you never imagined has never suffered, “said Paul Kippi, a culture-destroying statement that has made him uncomfortable. Life is convinced he is both invincible and untouchable.

And for some time, that invincibility is maintained. There are some childish locker room insults and some unexpected compliments, but Lemming has brushed aside both with the above-all gestures of a man who knows he’s at the top of his game. Untouchable.

Carveball comes with the hiring of Shane Mungit (Michael Oberholtzer), a hotshot pitcher from Ozark whose unspoken demeanor and irrationality arouse the interest of his teammates. Mungit’s story unfolds appropriately and begins – growing up in an orphanage, his parents committing murder and suicide, a vocabulary so limited that he can only collect angry “it’s not beautiful” when faced with another humiliation in life.

The curiosity aroused by this newcomer turned into stunned rage when, during a press conference of his own, he described his new teammates with racist and gay anecdotes that were truly astounding. Mungit’s playing days will be counted until he gives a heartfelt, if bad spelling, written apology that expresses resentment over his lifetime of poverty, ignorance and emotional deprivation. “I didn’t know that most words meant bad things. I’ve heard them all my life,” Shane wrote. “All I can do is throw – the only thing I can ever do. I don’t want to hurt anyone and ‘I take full responsibility for my statement. I should be punished.’

Oberholtzer, ensemble
Joan Marcus

So Shane has returned to the team even though he did not open arms. Lemming, who has expressed his displeasure at the team manager-father figure, said the manager, when in favor of orthodoxy, was hit twice in multiple ways.

Even Lemming’s business manager, Starstruck, encourages new baseball convert Mason Marzak (an innocent Jesse Tyler Ferguson) to let Lameing down his abrupt interest in retiring to finish the season. Of particular importance is tomorrow’s game, which will see Lemming compete against his lifelong friend, fellow superstar and general rival Davy Battle (Brandon J. Dorden).

When a wrong (probably) pitch goes wrong, tragedy strikes, Shane is the only obvious culprit. Greenberg then opens the chronicle of a very bad day to show how multiple people behaved so badly, harassing the next with every insult and cruelty, bullying and victimizing everyone. The legacy of hatred.

Directed by Scott Ellis with a focus on speed and subtlety that identifies every thought in a thought-provoking play, Take me out The locker room does nothing unnecessarily with lots of nude in the shower scene. Here is a satire on the aftermath of the emergence of the intellectual Kippi Lemming, while teasing his comrades at the same time telling the truth:

“We’ve lost a kind of paradise,” he says. “We see that we are naked. And our shelter? We have none. We want to assume a defensive hostility, an aggression. Danger there, we become Shane Mungit. So our anger, our masculinity is lost to us. We are tight. We suffocate on the bat. We play small flies on the bounce. We’re sucking. “

Or remember, after Shane’s (seemingly) dishonest denial that Lemming was targeting homosexuals, that a previous exchange involving another player could only indicate that Shane was not lying at all. In light of this, we realize that Shane’s list of possible virtues probably doesn’t include dishonesty – even that false apology letter doesn’t really belong to him. In a way, Shane lacks the self-awareness to be anything other than what he appears to be – a revelation made clear in a painful scene, played fair-thi-well by Oberholtzer, while the full effect of his actions is made clear.

And so on Take me out It takes no captive to explain how a man’s hatred casts an ugly shadow on everyone within his reach, a destructive force that persuades even heroes to act without heroism. In a stunning autobiography that certainly contributed to the play’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize nomination (and won a Tony Award), Mason, a baseball evangelist from Business Manager, offers a remarkable explanation of the game: Baseball, he says, “is better than democracy because baseball acknowledges the damage.” “

“Even though the Conservatives tell you, leave things alone and no one will lose, and the Liberals tell you to intervene a lot and no one will lose, Baseball says: No one will lose. Just don’t say it – emphasize it! So that baseball achieves the sad vision that democracy avoids … Democracy is beautiful, but baseball is more mature. “

When Ferguson gives that speech, he captures the character of a gay man who, to his utmost surprise, discovers something very valuable in a world he has spent his life ignoring, to fill a void, to love something good. . Or worse. Baseball, he will admit later, may be sad, but what will we do until spring?

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