fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Boston - Part 2: The Shrine of the Green Monster

Thursday afternoon was my reason for having gone up early, as I went to Fenway Park to see my beloved Red Sox play the Oakland A's. I still love everything about Fenway. There's no need for gimmicks. There, it is all about baseball. The game was an exciting one to watch. But Tim Wakefield gave up 4 runs in the top of the 4th and the Sox never quite caught up. They came close but there is always Manny Delcarmen to destroy any hope of winning. The tension came with the review of Scutaro's homer, but that got resolved the right way.

I should mention that I was actually wrong about something. I thought the Sox still played "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" twice through as G-d and nature intended, but they have gone to once through like everyone else. At least at Fenway, people sing along. (And everyone sings along to "Sweet Caroline.")

After the game, I went back to the hotel, retrieved my bag, and went over to the MIT campus for reunion registration and dorm check-in. They put me in Burton-Connor, which was shabbier than I remembered it having been in my day. (I lived in McCormick, but I had a bunch of friends who lived in Burton.) It's not like I was going to spend all that much time in the dorm room anyway.

In fact, I left it more or less immediately and took the bus up to Harvard Square to go to the American Repertory Theater. ron_newman and I saw Johnny Baseball, a new musical by Robert Reale, Willie Reale, and Richard Dresser. About all I knew going in was that was about the Red Sox. Musical, Sox - I'm there. (I even own the cast recording of The Curse of the Bambino.) The story moves between game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series and events in 1918 and 1948. The historic story (which is entirely fictional) involves a young pitching phenom, Johnny O'Brien, who gets involved with an African-American woman, Daisy Wyatt. I won't say too much about the plot details, but they involve a lot of the less pleasant racial history of Boston and the Red Sox. (The Sox were the last major league team to integrate and it's pretty clear that the racism of both Tom Yawkey and Joe Cronin had a negative effect on the team.)

The story felt plausible enough and the music was mostly lively and enjoyable. I especially liked "Brotherhood of Bastards," "Worcester Boosters Fight Song" (which required rhymes for places like Scituate), "Mr. Yawkey Has a Vision," and "See You in the Big Leagues." In fact, I was walking around humming the latter for a couple of days.

All of the performers were capable. I want to particularly single out Stephanie Umoh as Daisy Wyatt. Her voice is strong and powerful. I was also quite impressed by Burke Moses as Babe Ruth.

All in all, the show is not going to break any new ground in the American musical, but it was an enjoyable evening. I can even recommend it to people who aren't Sox fans.
Tags: baseball, musicals, theatre

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