The title of the play refers to what Cubs fans will tell you was the best double-play combination in baseball history - early 20th Century Cubs shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers, and first baseman Frank Chance, memorialized in a poem called "Baseball's Sad Lexicon." This poem is recited on every home opener by Lauren and her mother Nessa, who have a special connection to it. Nessa's grandmother was given a jersey by Evers, and when Nessa was 17 she traveled to New York to meet Evers, who had recently suffered a stroke. When the play opens, Lauren has come home to Chicago to attend the now infamous Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS with Nessa, who has herself recently suffered a stroke. But this game becomes life-changing for Lauren for a different reason - Nessa has disappeared. This sends Lauren and Nessa's personal care assistant RJ on a journey through time as they try to find her. Nessa has left some clues in an unfinished play she's written about the life of Johnny Evers. Lauren blames herself for not being around more, and RJ for an incident that happened earlier in the day. I'm not going to tell you if/when/how they find her, but they do discover a bit more about themselves and the nature of love, for baseball and humans.
|Meredith Casey and JoeNathan Thomas (photo by Devon Cox)|
|I need this shirt (Meredith Casey and JoeNathan Thomas,|
photo by Devon Cox)
The best thing about baseball is that we get to start over every year. On Opening Day, anything is possible, and this could be the year. I suppose the same thing could be said about love. A month and a half into the season, my beloved Twins have (almost) the best record in baseball, and I'm all in. They could very likely end up breaking my heart again, like they have so many times in the past. But right now, I truly believe that this could be the year, that 28 years after their last world championship, the Twins could do it again.
If you're a fan of family drama, or mysteries, or baseball, or two-handers, or smartly written plays that explore emotions in a new and interesting way, Tinker to Evers to Chance is for you. It's playing through May 26 at Bloomington Center for the Arts.