Curse and worse

By STEVE VINEBERG  |  June 9, 2010

The acting takes a firm second place to the singing in this show. The staging by Diane Paulus is so spare as to be dull, though the fault may be in the decision to employ a cast of 14 (10 of them cast in multiple roles) in a cavernous playing area. Scott Pask's set is meant to catch the feel of Fenway Park, but it just seems blocky and flat. (Pask's work on the current Broadway revival of Promises, Promises provides a far better measure of his talents.)

The social-problem preachiness joins hands with conventional sentimentality about baseball in the finale, "The Game of Baseball," which tells us that baseball is a great American sport because it channels the real democratic (i.e., anti-racist) spirit. Of course the audience jumps to its collective feet at the end. The Reales practically drag us by our collars.

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