March 26, 2001
SecondStory ushers in baseball season with 'Spring Training'
by Deborah Stone
SecondStory Rep pays a lively tribute to the game of baseball, America's favorite pastime, with its new show, "Spring Training."
The production, currently running through April 7, is a variety show of songs and scenes, some original and others adapted from different sources.
Compiled, adapted and directed by Mark Waldstein (who is also part of the show's talented ensemble of six actor/singers), "Spring Training" features a fanatic husband who pays his wife no attention during "Six Months out of Every Year" while four guys (Joseph McCarthy, Steve Peters, Ian Sweeney and Mark Waldstein) cheerfully lament their team's failures in "We've Got Heart."
A recitation of "Casey at the Bat" is performed by Peters in an over-the-top rendition that is filled with hilarious vocal and facial expressions.
The company does a comical tribute to Charlie Brown and friends as they psyche up for another season of baseball and its expectations.
One of the funniest numbers is McCarthy and Peters doing the "Who's on First?" routine originally made famous by Abbot and Costello years ago. In another scene, McCarthy, as one of baseball's legends, Ty Cobb, shows the audience how "real" players (unlike the game's memorable Babe Ruth, whom he calls "an egg on stilts") take a trip around the bases in the technique of stealing home.
He belittles Ruth's slammers as being too easy and laments the audience's preference for Ruth's style as opposed to his artful technique that takes brains and quick reflexes. The ensemble's balletic, slow-mo, mime number brings down the house, as does a fifties style doo-wop, lip sync performance.
Musical Director Shelby O'Clair, who is also part of the ensemble, uses a school writing assignment to evoke poignant memories of a little league play-off game and a father's enduring spirit.
Her performance is both comical and touching, done in a natural, non-stagy manner that gives it real credibility.
"Spring Training" is ideal family entertainment, just in time to usher in the baseball season.
In its third year at Redmond Town Center, SecondStory Rep continues to offer high quality entertainment for both adults and children with its Mainstage offerings and its SPROUTS Children Theatre series.
Eastside audiences no longer need to troop across the bridge to find professional stage talent, eclectic productions and a variety of classes in the performing arts.
For ticket and show information, as well as a schedule of upcoming drama classes and summer theatre camps for children, call ( 425) 881-6777.