“Sweetest Swing” Preview in the Grand Rapids Press

Be sure and check out this article about The Sweetest Swing in Baseball in The Grand Rapids Press:

Baseball, psychology mix in Actors’ Theatre production of ‘The Sweetest Swing in Baseball’

Published: Sunday, March 20, 2011, 11:00 AM

Photo credit: Katy Batdorff | Grand Rapids Press The cast for "The Sweetest Swing in Baseball," is from left, Lorna Torres, Ellie Gramer, Jolene Frankey, Kyle Los, seated on the floor, and Calin Skidmore.

By Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball,” a play opening Thursday at Actors’ Theatre, has nothing to do with batting averages and everything to do with that other national pastime — watching celebrities implode.

Taking a page out of the Charlie Sheen playbook, the dark comedy focuses on Dana, a contemporary visual artist, who loses her popularity, boyfriend and sanity in one fell swoop.

“It’s about a woman going through an identity crisis,” said director Michelle Urbane. “It explores how difficult it is being an artist when your self-concept is subject to other people’s approval.”

Dana suffers a breakdown in the opening scene and goes to a mental institution where she is so comfortable among the other patients that she doesn’t want to return to the outside world.

To convince her insurance to pay for an extended stay, she pretends to be delusional, taking on the persona of former baseball slugger Darryl Strawberry, who faced his own battles with drug addiction and media attention in the 1990s.

The play was written by Chicago’s Rebecca Gilman, whose dark tale, “Boy Meets Girl,” was presented by Actors’ Theatre in 2004.

Gillian Anderson, an Actors’ Theatre alum who went on to international fame in television’s “The X-Files,” starred in the London stage debut of “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball” in 2004.

“That was when the play started getting attention,” Urbane said.

(Read the rest of the article on www.mlive.com)

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Filed under Communication, In The News, Plays and Productions

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