As baseball season is about to be underway, you can jump on the bandwagon a bit early by seeing “Jackie and Me” now playing at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. Jackie Robinson was not only a phenomenal baseball player but a pivotal person in the civil rights movement. The show was fun as it circled around a boy named Joey who loved baseball and had to do a school report on an influential African American person. He chose Jackie Robinson and time traveled back to 1947 by holding on to a baseball card. Even more interesting than the time travel aspect, was the fact that Joey’s skin color changed when he arrived in this new era. He was able to learn first hand how hard it was for African Americans during that time period. For example: he had to drink at different water fountains than white people, stay in different hotels and was called horrible names.
Brandon Brooks who played Joey fit the role perfectly. He was recently Young Max in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and I remember liking him in that as well. The rest of the cast boasted CTC veterans Dean Holt, Reed Sigmund and Gerald Drake. The opening and closing scenes of boys playing baseball was a lot of fun. Spencer Harrison Levin who took on a handful of roles was a standout young actor as well.
This production is a perfect mix of entertainment and education. It was witty and had clever lines that allowed the audience to laugh but also take other parts seriously. “Jackie and Me” is running now through April 14th at the Children’s Theatre Company. For more information take a look at their website: http://www.childrenstheatre.org/