EXTENDED "Bang the Drum Slowly" (Raven Theatre): Male Bonding at Its Finest!

#114.  Men have always mystified me.  Having grown up with three sisters, I totally get every possible emotion for death, break-ups, or coupon expiration emitted by gals.  I don’t always understand what a man is thinking or feeling.  Their level of communication often is a grunt, a shrug, or a ‘whatever’.  My ‘How do you feel?‘ inquiry to a guy is met with a one word explanation:  ‘hungry’, ‘tired‘ or ‘mad.‘  That’s why stumbling into a man cave and observing the species interact is my favorite bromantic fantasy. 

Joshua J. Volkers, Kevin Duvall and Michael Stegall in Raven Theatre's "Bang the Drum Slowly", adapted by Eric Simonson, directed by Michael Menendian. (photo credit: Dean LaPrairie)Raven Theatre presents Bang the Drum Slowly.  It’s the 1950’s.  Professional baseball players work side jobs and negotiate their own contracts.  The New York Mammoths are gearing up for a World Series championship season.  They have a winning line-up with Henry “Author” Wiggen on the mound.  Author narrates his recollection of that pivotal year.  The year he won and lost.  Just before spring training, his best friend and third-string catcher, Bruce Pearson is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease.   Author must protect his dying friend from a money-grubbing whore, scam-smelling management and guy-ragging locker room.  But as Bruce’s secret penetrates the ball club, these fellows finally become a team.  Bang the Drum Slowly is male bonding at its finest.

Read the rest of my review at Chicago Theater Beat.

A guy I met on a softball team, Tom describes it with ‘well-acted, energetic, touching.’

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