[THEATER REVIEW] Going…Going…GONE! Takes Us Out to the Ball Game

Annie Abrams (from left), David Babich, Dennis Pearson and Troy Metcalf (at the rear) star in playwright Ken Levine’s play, Going...Going...GONE!

Annie Abrams (from left), David Babich, Dennis Pearson and Troy Metcalf (at the rear) star in playwright Ken Levine’s play, Going…Going…GONE!

Set in the press box of a Los Angeles baseball stadium, Emmy-winning writer Ken Levine’s new baseball drama explores the life changing relationships between four sports journalists during a seemingly endless no-hitter between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Shana (Annie Abrams), a beautiful, young sideline reporter, is filling in for a friend. Big Jim (Troy Metcalf) writes a sports blog, but dreams of being a novelist. Los Angeles Times sports columnist Mason Young (Dennis Pearson) worries about losing his job in the shrinking world of print media. Dennis (David Babich), serving as official scorer for the first time, is distracted by calls from his bossy wife who wants to buy a house he can’t afford.

The relationships between the four characters are comedic and poignant at the same time. The three men jab insults at one another and make sexist remarks about Shana’s ability to understand what is happening on the field.

As the game goes on inning after inning, the four experience life-changing revelations.

Playwright Ken Levine brings his experience as a writer, director and producer of such sitcoms as M*A*S*H*, Frasier and Wings to create snappy dialogue and fast paced action. His expertise as a sportscaster and former host of the radio show Dodger Talk brings authenticity to his characters and story.

Andrew Barnicle, longtime artistic director of the Laguna Playhouse, draws intimate characterizations from the four actors. Annie Abrams’ Shana is smart, sexy and sassy.

David Babich is moving as the Xanax popping, nerdy Dennis. Troy Metcalf as the overweight Big Jim Tabler and Mason Young as the Times sportswriter are believable.

At times, the banter in this 90-minute one act play made me feel like I was watching a sitcom, but the overall drama kept my interest and made me ponder what was coming next.

Going…Going…GONE! runs through November 6th at The Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. $30. Parking in adjacent lot, $5. (323) 960-5521 or www.plays411.com/gone 

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