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Batter Up! My Brain on Baseball

cabaret & variety · world of moorecraft · Ages 8+ · world premiere · one person show · 1hr · United States of America

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Review by BENJAMIN NICHOLSON

July 24, 2019 certified reviewer
tagged as: fandom · squeeze bunt · memory · baseball

What I liked

Having grown up in New Hampshire (and having “come of age” in the early 2000s), the Red Sox were at the center of my family and social life; when they won the World Series in 2004 for the first time in 86 years, people in New England, if only for a short time, actually started to express… happiness?

Brett’s show, and his tremendous unabashed passion for the game of baseball, reminded me of how being a kid (and loving games, and summer, and slowness) could open up a sort of magic, that you could set aside cynicism and detached irony and just get really into rooting for your team to have a deficit so that they could walk off in the 9th.

Though my Red Sox beat Brett’s Dodgers this past world series, I hope the Dodgers pull it off this year; this show has me imagining the joy it would bring to Brett, joy that’s infectious in the most sincere way.

What I didn't like

I would have liked to see one or two more ‘bits/games’, though I very much enjoyed what there was time to see; it also might be nice to a get a little more interwoven narrative of Brett’s own Dodgers fandom (particularly given the Dodgers’ recent success without quite winning it all).

My overall impression

Batter Up! felt more like a conversation with a friend than a theatrical production, and I mean this in the best possible way. Brett’s love for baseball makes listening to a chronological listing of all the teams that lost in the World Series both endearing and something to root for; seeing Brett dig back through his years of baseball knowledge to triumphantly retrieve and share is both a remarkable feat of investment but also engrossing to observe. Even if you don’t love baseball, this show gives you something to don’t encounter every day: emphatic and earnest enthusiasm for a lifelong pursuit.

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