(Chris Jones’s article appeared in Theater Loop, 2/14.)
Baseball basks in a grand literary tradition created by writers like Richard Ben Cramer, Robert W. Creamer, Michael Lewis, Roger Angell and, if you're a kid who loves baseball cards and the heroes thereupon, Dan Gutman. But when it comes to plays about America's pastime (indeed, about professional sports in general), the list is less distinguished. The epic struggles of the field can easily feel cheap or reductive on a stage; it's not easy to cram a diamond into a theater where you can't really play ball.
But “Jackie and Me,” the moving, empowering and otherwise lovely new family show which premiered last weekend by the Chicago Children's Theatre and represents an ideal winter father-and-son (or mother-and-daughter) outing for suffering baseball fans, is an exception. Adapted by the distinguished yet oft-underrated American playwright Steven Dietz from Gutman's novel of the same name, “Jackie and Me” is one of those shows that turns out to be