Cincinnati Playhouse presents another winning performance with the production of Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing currently running until May 21, 2016. The story is fascinating, inspirational and eye opening of one man’s journey from stardom of the Negro Baseball Leagues to Major League Baseball. The story is not just about a great baseball player, and if it was that would be remarkable, however, it deals with Satchel Paige’s inter-conflicts, craving for recognition his joys, fears, and concerns about selling out his culture. This production is theatrical collaboration between Trey Ellis and Richardo Khan who had worked previously together with FLY the story of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen back in 2013, which took audiences by storm. Patrons will not be disappointed by this show either.
The story begins with Satchel Paige All-star players playing against Bob Feller’s Major League All-stars. Bob would like to see Satchel try out for the majors and be part of the next wave players to break down the racial barriers in the Major Leagues just as Jackie Robinson did. Satchel has one of the best pitching arms in the Negro Leagues and would be a great talent in the Majors.
Many of these baseball players in Kansas City would congregate at Mrs. Hopkins’s Boarding Houses to exchange stories, listen to music, socialize or for boarding. Mrs. Hopkins was part of the new middle class in the African-American community. She was refined and elegant. She had one daughter and was trying to raise her to be respectable. Her daughter Moira just wants fun and an easy way out. Two baseball players were competing for her attention Art Young, and Frank Palmieri. Art Young is talented, spirited and seeking his chance to play in the majors, Frank Palmieri cocky and arrogant already a success in the major leagues. Meanwhile one of Satchel’s close friends Buck O’Neil has become one of the first African- American Scouts in Majors. He also wants Satchel to try out for the Majors. The turbulence and furry between the characters is interesting and lively.
Satchel Paige is performed by Robert Karma Robinson, who does a brilliant job making the character three dimensional believable and all revealing.
Art Young is played by Peterson Townsend plays the character with true big leaguer melody well done.
Mrs. Hopkins is boarding house owner was played Vanessa A. Jones. I found her to be s delight everyone could feel her motherly spirit encompassing them.
Frank Palmieri is played by Sam Wolf superbly offers the touch of sleazy and nastiness, well done.
I would highly recommend will enlighten you with richness of history and content. Ticket prices start at $35 and can be obtained at www.cincyplay.com