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Rounding Third
a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Richard Dresser

COMPANY : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 4699

SHOWING : March 20, 2015 - April 12, 2015

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"Rounding Third" is the tumultuous journey of two Little League coaches through an entire season, from their first tentative meeting to the climactic championship game. Don is the tough, blue-collar, win-at-all-costs veteran coach whose son is the star pitcher. Michael is a newcomer both to the town and to baseball who agrees to be Don’s assistant because he wants a special activity with his son. Despite their differences, the two men battle over how to lead the team.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director James Donadio
Don Robin Bloodworth
MIchael Vince Pisani
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REVIEWS

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A Home Run
by playgoer
Sunday, March 29, 2015
5.0
James Donadio has directed a wonderful production of Richard Dresser’s "Rounding Third" with Stage Door Players. All elements of the production are first-rate, with the excellent acting augmented by John David Williams’ lighting, Rial Ellsworth’s extensive sound design, Jane Kroessig’s costume design, Kathy Ellsworth’s props, and Chuck Welcome’s scenic design. The show has only two speaking roles, but they’re populated by beefy Robin Bloodworth (Don) and diminutive Vince Pisani (Michael) in an odd-couple pairing that keeps interest throughout.

Mr. Welcome’s set initially looks like a Little League ballyard, with bleachers approximating dugouts on either side, chain link fencing behind, and a scoreboard stage center, all painted in an institutional green, with an Astroturf patch in the middle of the stage. For the first scene, though, a picnic table is brought out, a fence segment is moved, and the setting becomes a sports bar restaurant. Other setting surprises come about with furniture rearrangement and the revolving scoreboard. It’s all clever and entertaining.

The initial scene (and indeed the curtain speech) also introduce the "running crew" of Haley McFadden and Hayden Rowe, who perform all these set changes and, in costume, portray various non-speaking characters. It’s a charming directorial touch that adds a lot to the fun of the production. There’s fun of all sorts. Physical comedy comes primarily from the disparity in stature between Mr. Bloodworth and Mr. Pisani, but it doesn’t overwhelm the comedy arising from the different coaching viewpoints of their characters.

There’s some dramatic meat behind the comedy, with both men battling unhappy situations with their wives and dealing with sons who don’t always embody the full spirit of Little League dedication. Playwright Richard Dresser has sketched out a relationship between the two men during one Little League season – a relationship that can hardly be said to blossom into a true friendship, but ripens into a mutual respect. The ending of the play isn’t rosy and unrealistic, and that’s part of the charm of the play. There’s enough triumph and enough defeat mingled together to ring true and to satisfy audience expectations.

Mr. Bloodworth is pitch-perfect throughout, with his bluster fully capturing the character of gung-ho coach Don. Mr. Pisani seems a bit buffoonishly ineffectual at first, but that is mostly a feature of the writing. By the end of the show, he comes into his own as a fully realized character. The audience has come to know and appreciate these characters and the arc of their relationship. In a sports-filled theatrical season, this one is the undisputed champion.
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