The green field, the smells, the sounds, the warm sun overhead, it’s all part of BLEACHER BUMS, now onstage at The Playmasters in Bensalem.
Hey Popcorn…. Hey Peanuts….. Hot Dogs Here… Get Your Cold Beer!!
Those words ringing out across the land in the springtime can signal only one thing – that our National Pastime has started for the season.
Right now you can catch nine innings of a special game playing called BLEACHER BUMS. The play conceived by Joe Mantegna and created as a group improvisation by The Organic Theater Company of Chicago in 1977, follows the action of a daytime baseball game at Wrigley Field in Chicago between the long-time rival Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals.
During the nine innings that follow we meet the people that populate the stands.
The Bums of the title occupy the outfield bleacher seats under the manual scoreboard at the ballpark.
The play is much like being a fly on the wall as the stands fill with the most rabid Cubs fans of all. As they watch the game they reveal themselves in both their feelings toward the team and in their relationships to each other.As the game progresses they begin to bet on the outcome of individual plays and the game as a whole.
The cast does a wonderful job of ensemble acting. Dialogue and their focus on the characters’ intentions are melded together and sometimes overlap, as they do in everyday speech. That focus and the pace of the play make sure that we are always following the action. Thanks to the actors and the direction by Alice Weber when the play needs movement, it is direct and to the point.
This production is very much a family affair as real life couples work on the play together. Regina Deavitt as “Rose” and Robert S. Beaucheane as “Zig” play a husband and wife, who through the course of the play come to an agreement regarding gambling the family money. John Weber portraying “Marvin” is husband to director Alice Weber. Weber’s “Marvin”, can be soft and amiable or roar like a lion. Kori Rife’s “Melody” is the one outsider of the group but she is appreciated by the male fans for a number of reasons. David Kirby as “Greg”, brings a character who can sense the flow of the game both on the field and in the stands. Bob Clothier as “Decker”, transforms himself quite literally during the play. Zach Palmer’s “Richie” needs to remember not to bet beyond his means and Bob Demarco as “Cheerleader” seems to be the most energetic and rabid Cubbie fan of all.
Enjoy them all in the fast moving (no intermission) production of BLEACHER BUMS now at The Playmasters.
by Joe Mantegna
Directed by Alice Weber
May 4-20, 2012
State Road (¾ mile north of Street Road)
Bensalem, PA 19020