Yesterday I went to see a play about gay softball. Going into the play, I thought it was going to be the typical ‘it’s okay to be gay message about some gay guy finding his love for softball, and how he’ll be accepted’, so of course I was skeptical. The play took my expectations, threw it up in the air, and completely shattered it with a softball bat powered by twin jet engines. In other words, the play was amazing.
John Baxter Is a Switch Hitter is playing at Intiman Theatre. From August 18 – September 27 (only one day left, so hurry!) http://www.intiman.org/john-baxter-is-a-switch-hitter/
One of my favorite parts about this play was the humor. It’s not just like some jokes here and there, it’s much more. Some they hide (one of which was placing 69 on the back of each jersey) and some they outright say; I won’t spoil anymore, but they definitely make you laugh, at least, until the second part.
The acting was superb, and it made the characters feel like real people. Now, the acting in the first part was great, but it was after the intermission when it really started to shine. I won’t spoil any of the plot, but after the intermission, the play took a very emotional turn, and then you really started to see how good the actors were. My mom almost cried.
The set is where the director’s skill really shines. They decided to take a gamble with the set. Instead of doing a lot of props and flashy special effects, they decided to do a bare minimal amount. They used two sets of bleachers in almost every scene. For the props, they did the bare minimum, so you had to use your imagination. And they decided to do something really creative. In almost every scene, they used these two bleachers to represent something, whether it was an office, a house, or just bleachers at a softball game.
Finally, the important part. The message. What I thought it was going to be was an ‘it’s okay to be gay’ type of uplifting story, and as I said in my intro, that got blown away by a rocket-propelled softball bat (or rpsb for short). There are several great messages, take my word, and I’ll only state a few broad ones, as I don’t want to spoil anything. Some great ones were: Emotions – How anger can cloud your judgment. Discrimination – is it okay to discriminate against others because you were discriminated against? Identity – Is it right to be forced to self declare as ‘gay’ or ‘non-gay’ to play on the team? Sports Ethics – What are the ethics of sports, and was it right to do whatever it takes to win? No one’s opinion was wrong, they all had good reasons. These are just a few of some of the amazing messages this story gives.
I honestly believe this was an amazing play, the dialogue was great, the acting was amazing, and I couldn’t poke any stupid plot holes! My whole family, including my ten year old brother, had a lively discussion that lasted over an hour, about the play. I would recommend this to everyone, but it does have some swearing and sex jokes, so just be warned before taking young kids. Other than that, it was a great play, and I loved it!