Take Me Out Broadway Reviews

CRITICS RATING:
7.95
READERS RATING:
2.64

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Critics' Reviews

9

TAKE ME OUT: TWO DECADES LATER, AND STILL SWINGING

From: New York Stage Review | By: Jesse Oxfeld | Date: 04/04/2022

Greenberg's script remains as sharp and funny as it was 20 years ago, full of both quippy one-liners and wise monologues on the meanings of life and baseball. Ferguson gives an extraordinary performance as Marzac, wracked with awkwardness, thrilled to be star-adjacent, tearing through those philosophical monologues. As narrator-intellectual Kippy, Adams is equally strong, the even-keeled, avuncular center of the plot's chaos. Williams is the production's weak link, playing a cipher but with such cool affect as to drain this allegedly magnetic center-field star of any real charisma.

9

‘Take Me Out’ loads the Broadway bases with wit and incisive drama

From: The Washington Post | By: Peter Marks | Date: 04/04/2022

Featuring Jesse Williams as a superstar center fielder who comes roaring out of the closet, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson as a goofy, white-collar guy already out and newly turned on by the game, the comedy-drama has been buffed to a scintillating sheen by director Scott Ellis and his lineup of pro designers. They ensure Greenberg’s wit steps up winningly to the plate for the revival that marked its official opening Monday night at the Hayes Theatre.

9

Take Me Out review: A star-studded cast takes center field on Broadway

From: Entertainment Weekly | By: Andrea Towers | Date: 04/04/2022

If the point of Take Me Out is to make us uncomfortable - to make us think, to force us to feel, to allow us to acknowledge our privilege and our emotions and our relationship with those close to us and with ourselves - then it's more than done its job. In fact, it's hit a home run.

9

TAKE ME OUT Finds Loneliness In The Diamond — Review

From: Theatrely | By: Juan A. Ramirez | Date: 04/04/2022

The emotional wallop packed by Take Me Out took me by surprise. The last time I engaged with a baseball-centric Broadway tale, watching the Damn Yankees film, I was left watching, well, baseball. But this convincingly-acted, blistering drama more than earns its championship title.

With an impeccable cast headed by Jesse Williams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Patrick J. Adams, Take Me Out just might be a revelation even to those who saw the original Broadway production nearly 20 years ago.

9

Broadway’s ‘Take Me Out’ is an explosive, funny baseball play

From: The New York Post | By: Johnny Oleksinski | Date: 04/04/2022

"Take Me Out" isn't a sports psychologist's essay though. It's a taut and exciting play - and much more propulsive than your average spring ball game - that thankfully doesn't concern itself with the endless sensitivities and triggers of 2022. Most of the scenes are set in the tense locker room and there is an authenticity to the players' angst and jibes that wouldn't exist if the script had been scrubbed clean by some modern non-profit's propaganda officer. The show's got belly laughs, and a lot of grit.

9

TAKE ME OUT: A SOLID THREE-BAGGER

From: New York Stage Review | By: Bob Verini | Date: 04/04/2022

Ellis places most of the play's gut punches - notably the two act breaks, though the second intermission is omitted - in the capably Expressionist fists of set designer David Rockwell and lighting designer Kenneth Posner. The momentary effects are achieved but curiously seem unearned, out of scale somehow to the human confrontations. More seamless is Mikaal Sulaiman's stellar sound design, layering cheers and gasps so you can't separate the recorded ones from the live. And isn't that how it should be? Ellis and Greenberg evidently share the belief that baseball is the most democratic of pastimes, perhaps even more so than theater, where a commonality of values often reigns. At the stadium, wealthy and strapped, left and right, white-collar and blue- come together in a celebration of teamwork and individual skill, and this play exploring individual identity knows that the group identity of "fan" unites us. It almost makes a trip to the Helen Hayes a requirement in these polarized times.

9

Review: In ‘Take Me Out,’ Whose Team Are You On?

From: The New York Times | By: Jesse Green | Date: 04/04/2022

At its best, "Take Me Out," which opened on Monday in a fine revival at the Helen Hayes Theater, is a five-tool play. It's (1) funny, with an unusually high density of laughs for a yarn that is (2) quite serious, and (3) cerebral without undermining its (4) emotion. I'm not sure whether (5) counts as one tool or many, but "Take Me Out" gives meaty roles to a team of actors, led in this Second Stage Theater production by Jesse Williams as Lemming and Jesse Tyler Ferguson as his fanboy business manager.

9

Take Me Out

From: Time Out New York | By: Adam Feldman | Date: 04/04/2022

Ellis's ensemble cast-which also includes Julian Chi as a Japanese pitcher, Hiram Delgado and Eduardo Ramos as macho Empires, and Ken Marks as their manager-is a model of teamwork, with the main cast leading the charge. The role of Darren is challenging because the character is such a cipher ("I don't have a secret, Kippy. I am a secret"), but Williams balances believable swagger with lovely shades of growing self-awareness. Oberholtzer brings high low-life intensity to his performance as the foolish Shane, and Dirden is a pillar of testy rectitude as the pious Davey. But Mason is by far the play's best role, and Ferguson-warm, sweet and infectiously enthusiastic-is the show's most valuable player. In every moment he spends onstage, with every perfectly timed aperçu, he wears the audience like a glove.

The euphoria of discovery conveyed by Richard Greenberg through a gay outsider who becomes an impassioned baseball fan hasn't dimmed a bit in the two decades since Take Me Out was first produced. Other things, however, have changed in director Scott Ellis' finely tuned and superbly cast Broadway revival for Second Stage. Issues that once seemed too reflective of the playwright's hand at work now seem urgently keyed into a contemporary world in which masculine anxiety and its bilious consequences are being held up for scrutiny.

Scott Ellis' grounded staging spotlights and underlines the conflicting emotional subtexts in Richard Greenberg's profound script, in a production of Take Me Out that is an alternately tense, funny, and heartrending toast to America's favorite pastime.

7

What Shane embodies is before us in the many and varied current attacks on the LGBTQ community, and trans youth in particular. It may even explain the paucity of out sports-people 20-plus years after Take Me Out's debut. Yet finally, Take Me Out also offers a vision of inclusion, of both finding a place, finding friendship, and finding a home. It comes with costs, but it's there-a genuinely unexpected field of dreams.

7

Review | ‘Take Me Out’ hits a home run

From: AMNY | By: Matt Windman | Date: 04/04/2022

A lot has changed in the world in the 20 years since the Off-Broadway premiere and subsequent Broadway transfer of "Take Me Out," Richard Greenberg's all-male drama about the epic consequences of a Derek Jeter-like professional baseball player coming out as gay. Notwithstanding, "Take Me Out" remains the same play, somewhat overlong and sensationalistic but absorbing and heartfelt, especially as demonstrated by the excellent Broadway revival produced by Second Stage.

7

The production is, for sure, broad and embracing of an exuberant kind of theatricality, occasionally at the expense of the pace of a show that has to maintain a rush of ideas. Many of the laughs that come are as intended, but a few feel gratuitous. And the David Rockwell set is a rare disappointment from this gifted designer: there was an opportunity there to radically freshen the vistas of the work, but it offers few sharp edges and no real surprises. That said, you're watching a skilled and earnest ensemble. Adams makes for a very reliable narrator, but most of the best scenes involve the consistently superb Williams, whom you can easily believe as a real ball player and whose acting has the single quality most essential to all Greenberg plays: He never reveals too much at once.

Ellis and his cast deliver scene after scene of great drama. How Greenberg gets to some of those scenes in the second act is little more than sloppy dramatic license, unfortunately. The final confrontation between Mungitt and Lemming, as mediated by Kippy, provides emotional fireworks. Unexplained is that Mungitt landed in prison for murdering Lemming's best friend, Davey Battle (Brandon J. Dirden), and Lemming would be the last person allowed to see the accused at this moment in time. Even shakier is the idea that Lemming would have a best friend who's a raving religious bigot. Before Lemming came out of the closet, did Battle never express his "pervert" view of homosexuality? This "Take Me Out" is worth seeing, even if it's not built on a firm playing field.

7

A Twenty-Year Old Play About Coming Out in Baseball is the Story We Need Now

From: Medium | By: David Cote | Date: 04/04/2022

The current revival at the Hayes, produced by Second Stage Theatre and ably directed by Scott Ellis, is quite good - well-acted, smart in tone and pace, handsomely designed, with some reservations. (The Hayes is tad too small for a show of this amplitude, and David Rockwell's set feels pinched and flat. The shower scenes, for example, seem squashed downstage in a monotonous row.)

Directed by Scott Ellis, this revival, too, is a solid hit, despite a few grounding errors. It should also prove to be popular for all market segments, especially with its triple-play of television favorites: two who are taking their Broadway bows for the first time, along with a beloved stage veteran.

6

Review: ‘Take Me Out’ is playing in the wrong ballpark

From: Broadway News | By: Naveen Kumar | Date: 04/04/2022

But there's little retrospective insight to this production, from director Scott Ellis, which is a straightforward retelling of a story whose provocations were largely reliant on context. And if the play has enduring resonance - as a study of prejudice, or even a romance with America's pastime - here it's more an echo than a roar.

6

Does Take Me Out Still Hit the Strike Zone?

From: Vulture | By: Helen Shaw | Date: 04/04/2022

Which leads you immediately to the thought - why are they so naked? We can do wonders with frosted glass these days, but Take Me Out insists that the actors be as close to us as possible (almost on the downstage lip) and that nothing obscure their full-frontality. Greenberg's deftly constructed play is full of dramaturgical distractions to keep us off balance, and the eye-catching choice should immediately raise your suspicions. Is this meant to be erotic? Even playfully so? No. Greenberg's play is unsexy in its bones. Take out the soap-and-towel stuff, and you're left with ideas that - give or take a few dozen slurs - you could take to church.


Reader Reviews

9

A Broadway Preview review by Esta (mother) and Aaron (son).

By: | Date: 03/18/2022

Stop by www.SpoilerFreeReviews.com for our FULL review. Overall Score ESTA: A Outstanding acting. Smart-creative blocking. Excellent updating of a play written years ago and still sadly totally current today. AARON: B+ Agree with everything you stated above. However, TAKE ME OUT was less of a grand slam and more of a home run for me. WHY IS THIS SHOW IMPORTANT? ESTA: Homophobia is still present in our current society on every level. It traps people in cages that they never wanted to live in. It forces people of both genders to be wary of coming out and being true to who they are. It is hateful and hurtful to all souls. We are living in a divisive society. It is a sad state of events but very real. The more we talk about difficult topics like this, perhaps we will be able to break down a few fences and find our way back together. All everyone really wants is to be loved. TAKE ME OUT shined a necessary light on a problem that is not going away. AARON: After seeing TAKE ME OUT, I thought of this quote from DEAR EVAN HANSON – “The parts we can’t tell, we carry them well, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t heavy.” With TAKE ME OUT, it’s a damn shame that it has been 20 years since the original play premiered on Broadway and the heavy themes are even more relevant today. As my mom stated, “we live in a divisive society.” TAKE ME OUT turns the spotlight on people that are scared to face the fact that “what they fear might be what they are.” FINAL THOUGHTS AARON: TAKE ME OUT is a challenging but essential play. After getting “hit by the pitch” so hard, post TAKE ME OUT; it’s good to balance it with a “curveball” light-hearted experience. If I was to see it again, I would pair it with something like SIX or THE MUSIC MAN. ESTA: I love a play that makes me think and leaves me wanting more. TAKE ME OUT certainly did that. It was an emotional roller coaster ride watching consummate acting on stage while revealing truths about our society. Theatre at its best, for sure. Full review at www.SpoilerFreeReviews.com

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