Central Alberta theatre is marking the beginning of a new season on solid comical ground with Rounding Third, currently running in the Nickle Studio through to this weekend.
Directed by Bob and Geanette Greig and written by Richard Dresser, the story follows the unlikely partnering of two fellows in the leadership of a kids’ baseball team. Both approach coaching with distinctly different ideas of the best, most effective way to go about it.
Don, played superbly by Perry Mill, is the blustery, tough talking, no-nonsense guy whose been at this for years.
He has little patience for anything that interferes with what he sees as straightforward, unsympathetic skill improvement no matter what it takes.
Michael on the other hand has little experience in guiding a little league team in general, or really understanding much about baseball in particular.
At first anyhow.
Played with lots of heart and believability by Craig Scott, this is a man who has a different vision in mind – the kids need to have fun and not take things too seriously.
The foil of these two men is hilarious – of course, their differing views extend far beyond baseball.
They seem to differ on virtually everything and there are plenty of moments when the scrappiness in disagreeing is rich in the best lines and the wittiest moments. But there’s more than just laughs here – both actors nicely bring more complexities to their characters than that.
We gradually learn more about both men – how they feel about many aspects of life, relationships, family and their own experiences. It’s all executed in a well-paced interpretation that really shows the skill of the Greigs
They’ve shown a natural knack for pulling the facets of a production together. Of course, the actors deserve much of the praise as well. With just the two of them in the production, there’s a heightened demand for brisk but natural and authentic pacing.
And during the performance I saw, there was barely a stumble. That’s quite an accomplishment with extensive dialogue to commit to memory as well.
Ultimately, Rounding Third is a well-written and directed plus a strongly and thoughtfully produced and performed piece of theatre by CAT which bodes well for the coming season. The next several months also include several dinner theatre shows at the North Hill Quality Inn as well as more productions at the Nickle Studio. For more information or for tickets, check out www.blackknightinn.ca.