Over the course of our relationship, hubby and I have gone to see two plays. I happen to love live theater, but getting him to enjoy it with me, while not exactly like pulling teeth, isn’t especially easy. His willingness to consider a play largely depends on the writer and the subject matter. (Musicals are a non-starter.) Very few subjects interest hubby more than baseball, so it won’t be a surprise that the two plays we’ve made it out to see—Take Me Out, several years ago, and The Catch, just last weekend—happened to be about that very subject.
Take Me Out, which we saw very early in our courtship, was about a popular baseball player (modeled loosely on Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees) who comes out as gay and about the repercussions that has on the players around him. It wasn’t so much about baseball, as it was about the politics of the clubhouse and sports celebrity. My favorite parts of the play were a series of monologues performed by one of the show’s supporting characters, a gay man and neighbor to the newly out star who begins to attend games in solidarity and finds himself falling in love with the sport. He articulates the many things that baseball fans love about the national pastime, why it is so very American, and so very democratic. It was a good play.
The Catch, playing at in the Space Theater at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts until February 26, is about a guy named Gary, a midwesterner who moved to San Francisco to ride the dot-com wave, only to see his company wipeout and wipe him out in the process. Having lost his house, along with his marriage, at the start of the play, he’s living in a small one-bedroom waiting for the next big idea to hit him. His optimism and belief in his eventual return to success in the face of such failures, remains undented–even when his father, a Polish immigrant and grumpy old man of the first degree, comes to stay with him after a diabetic episode while celebrating paying off his mortgage almost lands him in a nursing home, courtesy of his other son and a neighbor he fears is after his house.