Suicide Squeeze

What would happen if Darryl Strawberry was a girl? This.

The Sweetest Swing in Baseball is a comedy for smart people. Funny girl Neda Tavassoli playfully chews the scenery, portraying the play’s protagonist, Dana Fielding, as a famous but paranoid artist who ends up in an institution after attempting suicide over a failed exhibition and the loss of her lover. Preferring her new, ordered world, she trades art lessons to fellow inmates for baseball stats so she can complete her transformation into Darryl Strawberry, the New York baseballer infamous for his own fall from grace.

So is it a compliment to tell a playwright she’s a female version of Tennessee Williams, as some have done with Swing author Rebecca Gilman? No, asshole, it’s not, and we think Gilman would agree. A former Pulitzer Prize finalist, Gilman wrote The Sweetest Swing as a response to critics who pass easy judgment on those who sweat their “art” in full view of the public. Director Deborah Carrick of Arizona Women’s Theatre Company, the producing troupe, says she appreciates Gilman’s work because of its dark humor, lack of preachiness, and the “sense that the story will continue on . . .”

March 21-22, 8 p.m., 2008
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