WORLD PREMIERE BASEBALL COMEDY "GOING...GOING...GONE!" BY TV WRITER/SPORTSCASTER KEN LEVINE AT HUDSON THEATREview show |
Our universal need to be remembered is the underlying theme of a behind-the-scenes baseball comedy by Ken Levine, an Emmy Award-winning writer (Cheers, M*A*S*H, The Simpsons), acclaimed sportscaster and former host of Dodger Talk. Andrew Barnicle directs the world premiere of Going… Going… GONE! for an Oct. 1 opening at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood.
Set in the press box of a major Los Angeles baseball stadium, Going… Going… GONE! stars Annie Abrams (Venus in Fur at Santa Barbara’s Ensemble Theatre Co.); David Babich (Reunion, the Musical at Noho Arts Center); Troy Metcalf (ABC’s The Middle); and Dennis Pearson (creator and artistic director of Daycation Theatre) as four sports journalists whose lives are changed during the course of one game. At once poignant and hilarious, the play is grounded in rich characterizations.
“The characters are all loosely based on people I know,” says Levine. “These folks are working in a world that celebrates milestones above all else. They are wrestling with time, wondering what their legacy will be.”
Levine has married comedy and sports before: for a baseball episode of The Simpsons, he and writing partner David Isaacs had the announcer nickname the local team “The Isoptopes” — a moniker later appropriated and still used by a minor league team in Albuquerque, NM. “So I ended up naming a real baseball team,” he laughs.
Barnicle, best known as the former Artistic Director of the Laguna Playhouse, is a huge baseball fan. When he previously directed Levine’s play A or B? for the Falcon Theater, the two bonded over their common love of the sport.
“Ken is writing from a very personal perspective,” Barnicle says. “He understands what it means to be locked in a room for hours with a group of very smart sports journalists who can give as good as they get, and whose one shared experience is a love of the game.”
The creative team for Going… Going… GONE! includes set designer Gary Lee Reed; lighting designer Derrick McDaniel; sound designer Cricket S. Myers; costume designer Mylette Nora; graphic designer Kiff Scholl; and casting director Michael Donovan. The stage manager is Emyli Gudmundson; associate producer is Victoria Watson, Theatre Planners; and Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners produces.
Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years, Ken has been the head writer of M*A*S*H*, producer of Cheers, creative consultant of Frasier and Wings, and has co-created three of his own series including Almost Perfect that starred Nancy Travis for CBS from 1995-1996. In addition to the Emmy, he’s won two Writers Guild Awards and has had Peabody and Humanitas recognition. As a sportscaster, Ken hosted Dodger Talk on the Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network for eight years. For the last 20 years, Ken has done radio/TV play-by-play for the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres and has contributed pieces for ESPN and Fox Sports. He was voted the Virginia Sportscaster of the Year in 1989 (when he broadcast for the Tidewater Tides minor league team), and twice was named “Best Sports Talk Host” by the Southern California Sportscasters Association for his work on Dodger Talk. Ken’s other plays include Upfronts & Personal and A or B?. His musical, The ‘60s Project, which he co-wrote with Janet Brenner, was directed by Tony-winner Richard Maltby Jr. and starred Andrew Rannells at the Goodspeed Theatre in Connecticut. Ken also writes a popular daily blog, “By Ken Levine,” which was named one of the ten best television blogs in America by Entertainment Weekly and one of the 25 best blogs in the world by TIME magazine. He contributes essays to the Huffington Post and has written articles for the Los Angeles Times, London Times, Toronto Star, Hollywood Reporter, Variety and ESPN.com.
Andrew Barnicle directed the world premiere of Ken Levine’s A Or B? at the Falcon Theatre. For 20 years, from 1991 through 2010, Andy served as Artistic Director of the Laguna Playhouse. During that time he produced over 100 Playhouse shows and directed over 40, including many world, U.S., West Coast and Southern California premieres. Recent directing projects at Laguna include Lissa Levin’s Sex and Education (starring Julia Duffy), Neil Simon’s Chapter Two and The Odd Couple (starring Maxwell Caulfield), Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine and Noel Coward’s Private Lives, which also played at Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre. In the past few years, Andrew directed Venus in Fur and Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels at the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara; The Irish Curse at the Odyssey Theatre; and Gunmetal Blues at North Coast Rep in Solana Beach, were he has directed 11 plays. Andrew previously served as Head of Theatre at United States International University’s School of Performing and Visual Arts in San Diego. He has also directed at San Diego’s Theatre at Old Town; Michigan’s Meadow Brook Theatre; six plays at Burbank’s Colony Theatre including the recent Blame It On Beckett and Sex and Education (starring Stephanie Zimbalist); and The Foreigner at the San Jose Repertory Theatre.
Going… Going… GONE! runs Oct. 1 through Nov. 6 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Two previews are set for Thursday, Sept. 29 and Friday, Sept. 20, both at 8 p.m. Tickets to all performances are $30, except previews which are $20. The Hudson Guild Theatre is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. For information and to purchase tickets, call (323) 960-5521 or go to www.plays411.com/gone