Total Rating: 
***
Previews: 
July 28, 2017
Images: 
Opened: 
July 29, 2017
Ended: 
August 27, 2017
Country: 
USA
State: 
California
City: 
Los Angeles
Company/Producers: 
Racquel Lehrman, Theater Planners
Theater Type: 
Regional
Theater: 
Zephyr Theater
Theater Address: 
7456 Melrose Avenue
Phone: 
310-960-7738
Running Time: 
90 min
Genre: 
comedy
Author: 
Chuck Faerber
Director: 
Richard Kuhlman
Review: 

Playwright Chuck Faerberg pokes fun at the sports world in Ball Yards, his new play which just opened at the Zephyr Theater for a month-long world-premiere run. Faerberg (Zulu Time) and director Richard Kuhlman have put together a seven-person cast of actors each of whom plays multiple roles during the course of the evening. Some of Faerberg’s satirical targets are right on the money: nonsense-spewing sports announcers, smarmy football coaches who quote scripture in their team pep talks, a pretentious star running back who thinks he is the reincarnation of a Mayan god.

Other targets, though, are off the mark, such as a Grand Kleagle who has a thing for Condoleezza Rice, or the USA poet laureate who is raving-mad about baseball.

Ball Yards is essentially a series of comic sketches stitched together with a bit of narrative thread. It’s more of a revue than a play. Nothing wrong with that; entertainment can take any form it chooses. But play goes wrong by going on too long. An hour of sports-oriented skits would have been sufficient for this reviewer; at an hour and a half, the play simply wore out its welcome.

No one can fault the actors for the evening’s deficiencies; they work their fool heads all night long, jumping in and out of costumes, giving everything they have to get laughs as they impersonated one outlandish character after another: coaches, golf pros, KKK chiefs, cheerleaders, TV producers, and many more.

Ball Yards’ madcap antics take place on a simple but effective set by Gary Lee Reed and are gaudily costumed by Wendell C. Carmichael.

Cast: 
Marissa Drammisi, Byron Hays, John Marzilli, Mike Ross, Matt Shea, Scott Keiji Takeda, Christopher T. Wood
Technical: 
Set: Gary Lee Reed; Lighting: Donny Jackson; Costumes: Wendell C. Carmichael; Props: Bonnie Bailey-Reed; Sound: David B. Marling
Critic: 
Willard Manus
Date Reviewed: 
July 2017