The Old Ball Game

mtc_bbb2I saw a great play last night with CB. He liked it too, which counts for plenty because his standards are a lot tougher than mine. It was a drama with lots of yucks about baseball during the steroid era called Back Back Back.

The two principal actors were stand-ins for José Canseco and Mark McGwire. CB isn’t a baseball fan and initially I was concerned that he wouldn’t find the story very compelling, but there was nothing worry about. The acting is so good that you are pulled in whether you’re a baseball fan or not. The play ends with the Canseco/McGwire doppelgängers getting ready for their Congressional hearings and you really do feel the weight of what they did to baseball and each other. You never hear the word “steroid” spoken. Great plays like this make up for dogs I occasionally sit through.

The play was presented by the Manhattan Theater Club and I’m very happy that this is such a strong show. (Although, it’s still in previews. For all I know, the critics could trash it when it opens, but I can’t imagine that happening.) They’ve opened two other plays this season that were both panned by the critics, so they need a hit. Producing plays must be nerve wracking. All those weeks (months?) of rehearsal and preparation and all it takes it a handful of bad reviews on opening night and that’s it. You’re through. Pow. Right in the kisser.

* * *

The play was in midtown and before it started I sat outside for a while across the street from Radio City Music Hall on the ledge of a fountain. It was so freakishly balmy out that I could sit comfortably without a jacket on.

I watched the tourists and traffic flow up 6th Avenue. Radio City is an art deco masterpiece and it’s already all lit up for Christmas. A crowd was pouring in for the evening performance of the annual Christmas Spectacular.

radio%2Bcity

The out-of-towners were having their picture taken with Radio City as a backdrop and I obliged three different families who handed me a camera and asked me to take a photo for them. Everyone was so happy and excited to be in New York that I got all stupid and gooey inside. What a punk.

11 thoughts on “The Old Ball Game

  1. It’s nice to see somebody taking advantage of the city’s culture. I was there for 40 years and all I ever saw was my own reflection through the bottles on the opposite wall. Do you think you’ll EVER move back???

  2. Another serious consideration is the air quality. I bought three HEPA air filters right before my son was born, and within 3 months the filters were caked with more than half an inch of soot each. I couldn’t imagine all that crap going into his (and our) lungs, the damage it would cause. Suburbia has its discontents (and environmental issues) but getting my kid clean air/water is pretty much Job #1 in my opinion. The media completely ignores air quality issues in NYC unless it’s to demonize smokers, which is really too bad. Those hipsters in Brooklyn have no clue what poison little Brixton and Liberty are breathing in.

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