Jackie and Me at the Children's Theatre

The baseball play falls between drama and book report on stage

Falling uneasily between a serious drama and a high school history report, Steven Dietz's Jackie and Me, based on one of the novels in Don Gutman's series, is a handsome-looking production with a terrific cast that only occasionally manages to capture the unique moment in American history when playing a game signaled a massive change in the culture. There's a lot of unnecessary window dressing to get to the crux of the story, as it is told through the eyes of Joey Stoshack, a young, modern-day baseball nut who has the ability to travel back in time by touching a baseball card. For a school report, he travels back to Jackie Robinson's rookie season in 1947, when Robinson broke the color barrier playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Oh, and Joey goes from a white kid to a black kid, which in theory should give him more insight into the segregation era. Instead, it serves mainly as a distraction to the far more interesting story of Robinson and the trials he faced in the major leagues — sometimes from his own teammates. We also don't get enough of Ansa Akyea as the baseball great, who provides rock-steady grace in his every scene.

 
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