Rooftop Productions That Championship SeasonBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 31st, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Rooftop Productions’ That Championship Season [MP3 4:57 2.3MB].
Kellar Theater, at the Candy Factory, Manassas, VA
$15/$12 Students and Seniors
Through April 12th
Mike: This show was about a championship team reunion. It turned out that all the people on the team were a bunch of losers.
Laura: This was a pretty intense show. The second act did go a little bit long. Nothing ever really got resolved, which was kind of a tragedy.
Mike: That Championship Season is a play by Jason Miller. The play spans an evening in which former basketball players come to the home of their high school coach for a 20 year reunion. Their championship was supposed to launch them all into a life of success and achievement, but as the evening unfolds it is clear that the decades have not been kind to them. One is a corrupt politician. Another is a ruthless businesman. A third is killing himself with alchohol, and a fourth is drifting from failure to failure. Presiding over it all is the former coach, a bitter and angry man consumed with prejudice and cynicism.
Laura: I felt with this show that I was in a locker room. The language was pretty intense, there was a lot of shouting going on. In the beginning the actors were almost overly polite around each other trying to rekindle the good old days. As the evening wore on the gauntlet was thrown down and the anger and hidden feelings came out. It got pretty intense.
Mike: I don’t want to make it sound like I did not enjoy this show. It was a good show and very well performed. The show itself was a bit depressing. You realize that these championship players from this high school basketball team from years ago haven’t done anything with their lives that really makes them better people. They are just kind of coasting through. For example, Phil late in the show talks about what he is going to do on Friday nights and this shows the hopelessness that is in his life. I think all of the performers in this show showed that hopelessness. By the end of the show they very much knew that they were not doing anything and would not do anything productive.
Laura: The four players on the team who came back for the reunion were George (played by Scott Bailey), Tom (played by John Bordeaux), Phil (played by Matt Jordan), and James (played by Allen McRae). All of them performed very well. They were all angry. Although at the beginning of the play they tiptoed around each other with polite pleasantries, not wanting to get into the heart of the matter. As the evening wore on and the alcohol got absorbed, the masks came off and you saw that they were actually angry men who were not happy with their lives.
Mike: Their coach was played by Mark Yeager. He was such a bitter man. However the players looked up to him and he was such an important part of their adolescence, they were willing to overlook it. They did start to realize at the end that he was just a man and he could make mistakes. I don’t think they really realized how much they were under his control and power. He was the man behind the curtain pulling their strings. He also had that false bravado of being as fit as he ever was and doing pushups on the floor in the living room. Later as he tried to keep up his boisterous activity something happened and he was put in his place. All the guys realized that he was not looking that good. I think they all reacted very well to what was going on. The intensity was pretty high throughout most of the evening. I didn’t like that there wasn’t a chance to catch your breath. It felt like the actions and revelations kept coming faster and faster.
Laura: The set for That Championship Season was a basic set designed by Lisa Anne Bailey. Because it was a character driven show, there was just enough stuff on stage to let you know that you were in the living room of the coach’s home. The majority of the action on stage was amongst the different characters. There was a sofa and some chairs and a couple different exits leading to the kitchen, the bedrooms and the front door.
Mike: Do be aware there was a lot of adult language in the show. It’s not a show for children to see. There are also a lot of adult situations as well.
Laura: That Championship Season is playing through April 12, Fridays and Saturdays at 8, at the Kellar Theater at the Candy Factory in Manassas, Virginia. The show lasted approximately two hours and ten minutes with one intermission.
Mike: We did an interview a few weeks ago with Scott Bailey and talked about Rooftop Productions and a little bit about this production.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- George: Scott Bailey
- Tom: John Bordeaux
- Phil: Matt Jordan
- James: Allen McRae
- Coach: Mark Yeager
- Director: Lisa Bailey
- Stage Manager: Christine Lowry
- Set Design: Lisa Anne Bailey
- Lighting Design: Scott Bailey
- Properties/Set Dressing: Lisa Bailey & Scott Bailey
- Sound Design: Scott Bailey/John Bordeaux
- Producer: Scott Bailey
- Theatre Arts Director: Anne Ridgway
- Graphic Design: Louise Noakes
- Program: Kim Love
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2219.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.