January 22, 2013

Jackie and Me


Joey Stoshack has the unique ability to travel back in time using old baseball cards. Jackie and Me, based on the novel by Dan Gutman and adapted for the stage by the talented Steven Dietz (Dracula, Becky's New Car), follows Joey back to 1947 where he meets the great Jackie Robinson. The show is now playing on the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Upperstage and it's a wonderful way to bring history alive for any age group.

The casts rotates through the present day segments and those in 1947 with almost every person taking on multiple roles. Rob Johansen’s turn as the card collecting Flip was particularly fun. Robert Neal was perfect as the brash Branch Rickey who went out on a limb and signed Jackie Robinson as the very first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. Beethovan Oden, Lanise Antoine Shelley, Ryan Artzberger, Jennifer Johansen all do wonderful work as Jackie and Rachel Robinson and Joey’s concerned parents along with a myriad of other characters.


One of the most outstanding elements in the production is the detailed costume design by Alison Heryer. From the Dodgers’ uniforms to the ladies’ hats, Heryer’s attention to detail is impeccable. She was even able to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to see some actual clothing worn by Jackie and Rachel Robinson while researching the show.

Jackie and Me is a powerful play that tells the story of a man who stood up for what he believed in and refused to let others tell him to give up on his dreams.  It's a play about baseball and racism and about standing up for what is right. It’s also well suited for younger boys because it provides a fun sports-driven story blended with an accessible history lesson. Jackie’s story is being made into a movie, "42," starring Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, but the play is not to be missed! The show is 90 minutes long with no intermission. Get your kids or your niece or nephew and head to the theater! 


Don't Miss the Show


The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. "Jackie and Me" runs until Saturday, Feb. 16 on IRT's Upper Stage. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252. To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com

*Photos courtesy of Zach Rosing

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