You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Take Me Out

Joe Mantello's Broadway production of "Take Me Out" takes the West Coast -- albeit with a near-complete change of cast -- in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep's auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy's mix of all-American sports, hot-button issues and copious full-frontal male nudity.

With:
Mason Marzac - T. Scott Cunningham, Skipper William F. Danziger - Jack Davidson Martinez, Policeman - Ramon Fernandez Rodriguez, Policeman - Gene Gabriel Shane Mungitt - Harlon George Toddy Koovitz - Charlie Kevin Davey Battle - Charles Parnell Jason Chenier - Terrence Riordan Darren Lemming - M.D. Walton Kippy Sunderstrom - Doug Wert Takeshi Kawabata - Robert Wu

Joe Mantello’s Broadway production of “Take Me Out” takes the West Coast — albeit with a near-complete change of cast — in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep’s auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy’s mix of all-American sports, hot-button issues and copious full-frontal male nudity. It remains to be seen whether that last element will remain, er, intact once the play hits heartland stages.

M.D. Walton slides confidently into the skin of Darren Lemming, star player for the World Series-destined New York Empires. Darren is cocksure about everything: his record-setting salary, his near-godlike game, his biracial identity, his general rep as “universally loved, a little remote.” He’s untouchable — or so he thinks.

But when he decides to announce he’s gay (pity the play doesn’t give him a sex life to go with it), things get awkward fast, particularly in the team locker room, and especially with near-caricature “white trash” newbie pitcher Shane Mungitt (Harlon George).

Retaining the Broadway production’s design elements –notably Scott Pask’s unit locker room/scoreboard set — this latest “Out” is pacey, racy and flashy. The latter in more ways than one: Not only do we get act two’s shower scenes, but in act one the cast’s most anatomically imposing specimen (Charlie Kevin as clownish homophobe Toddy) literally waves that thing around for an entire scene, his hips working harder than a hula dancer’s. Of course, the sheer gratuitousness is the joke.

The play itself remains entertaining but problematic, with its awkward use of two quasi-narrators (T. Scott Cunningham as Darren’s financial adviser Mason, Doug Wert as his closest teammate friend, Kippy). Then there’s the ornate, showstopping (in both good and bad sense) monologues extolling the philosophical beauty of baseball; messily episodic structure; and erratic-at-best development both within and between characters.

The only fully convincing and potent sustained confrontation here is the late one between Darren and rival-team player Davey (Charles Parnell), whose friendship has curdled into Bible-clutching moral condemnation.

Take Me Out” aims to be so many things that in the end no umpire could make a clear call: Is it about baseball as metaphor for American race, class and sexual issues? A towels-off fantasy peek behind the locker room door? A comedy about machismo in distress? A character drama? A writer’s gushing fan note to the sport in general?

That it’s all these things in turn keeps “Take Me Out” lively and at times provocative, even if the clutter makes it appear Greenberg is making more cogent points than he actually manages.

Mantello’s current cast does a good job with variably depthed assignments, though Cunningham edges closer to irritating stereotype than Broadway’s Denis O’Hare did in a role that might as well have been penned for Harvey Fierstein.

Terrence Riordan scores some laughs as the effortfully PC dimwit Jason. Sole holdover from the Public Theater production is Gene Gabriel in the minor part of Spanish-speaking teammate Rodriguez.

Take Me Out

Golden Gate Theater, San Francisco; 2,400 seats; $75 top

Production: A Seattle Repertory Theater presentation of a play in two acts by Richard Greenberg. Directed by Joe Mantello.

Creative: Set, Scott Pask; costumes, Jess Goldstein; lighting, Kevin Adams; sound, Janet Kalas; associate director, William Joseph Barnes. Artistic director, Sharon Ott. Opened, reviewed Dec. 24, 2004. Runs through Jan. 9. Running time: 2 HOURS, 20 MIN.

Cast: Mason Marzac - T. Scott Cunningham, Skipper William F. Danziger - Jack Davidson Martinez, Policeman - Ramon Fernandez Rodriguez, Policeman - Gene Gabriel Shane Mungitt - Harlon George Toddy Koovitz - Charlie Kevin Davey Battle - Charles Parnell Jason Chenier - Terrence Riordan Darren Lemming - M.D. Walton Kippy Sunderstrom - Doug Wert Takeshi Kawabata - Robert Wu

More Legit

  • Watch Tom Hanks Vamp on Stage

    Watch Tom Hanks Vamp on Stage to Calm His 'Henry IV' Audience

    Joe Mantello’s Broadway production of “Take Me Out” takes the West Coast — albeit with a near-complete change of cast — in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep’s auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy’s […]

  • Donald Trump, Robert De Niro

    Trump Punches Back at Robert De Niro: 'A Very Low IQ Individual'

    Joe Mantello’s Broadway production of “Take Me Out” takes the West Coast — albeit with a near-complete change of cast — in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep’s auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy’s […]

  • Matt Bomer Andrew Rannells

    Stagecraft Podcast: Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells on Broadway's 'Boys in the Band'

    Joe Mantello’s Broadway production of “Take Me Out” takes the West Coast — albeit with a near-complete change of cast — in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep’s auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy’s […]

  • Bruce Springsteen72nd Annual Tony Awards, Show,

    Tony Awards: Everything You Didn't See on TV

    Joe Mantello’s Broadway production of “Take Me Out” takes the West Coast — albeit with a near-complete change of cast — in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep’s auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy’s […]

  • Tina Fey72nd Annual Tony Awards, Show,

    Tony Awards: The Night’s Biggest Snubs and Surprises

    Joe Mantello’s Broadway production of “Take Me Out” takes the West Coast — albeit with a near-complete change of cast — in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep’s auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy’s […]

  • Amy Schumer introduces a performance by

    Tony Awards: Amy Schumer Calls 'My Fair Lady's' Henry Higgins a Mansplainer

    Joe Mantello’s Broadway production of “Take Me Out” takes the West Coast — albeit with a near-complete change of cast — in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep’s auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy’s […]

  • Robert De Niro gestures while introducing

    Robert De Niro Says 'F--- Trump' at Tony Awards, Gets Standing Ovation

    Joe Mantello’s Broadway production of “Take Me Out” takes the West Coast — albeit with a near-complete change of cast — in this hardy edition presented under Seattle Rep’s auspices. Neither that burg, current home S.F. or final tour stop San Diego is likely to suffer any ruffled feathers from this crowd-pleasing if muddled seriocomedy’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content