Review: UNDER A BASEBALL SKY at The Old Globe

Playing through March 12th

By: Feb. 23, 2023
Review: UNDER A BASEBALL SKY at The Old Globe
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San Diego has deep ties to baseball well before the Padres arrived on the scene and The Old Globe's new play UNDER A BASEBALL SKY, set in Logan Heights, it shows how baseball can become an important thread in the tapestry of individuals and their communities. This 90-minute play has mystery, family, magical realism, and a lot of heart and is playing through March 12th at The Old Globe.

This new play is written by José Cruz González, who wrote AMERICAN MARIACHI which played at the Globe in 2018. In both, the audience finds themselves learning more about the Mexican American families and the community at the center of the shows. As this show opens we first meet Elí (Laura Crotte) a community staple who is returning to her home with the young community counselor/peacemaker Chava (Joseph Morales). Chava implores Elí to start living her life again after tragedy has struck her family. He also lets her know that a young man named Teo (Diego Josef) will be working cleaning up the lot beside her house to fulfill his sentence of community hours. Elí is less than impressed with this news.

Teo is a young man with a lot of weight on his shoulders, he helps his widowed mother out with the family business, he misses playing baseball, and his smart mouth has gotten him expelled from school. As he starts to clean up the yard, under the watchful eye of Elí, he soon learns that the ghosts of the past won't always stay hidden but that they can be confronted and exorcised for both himself and Elí.

Review: UNDER A BASEBALL SKY at The Old Globe

Elí has two children, Paloma (Ana Nicolle Chavez), and Santiago (Cesar J. Rosado), both of whom loved baseball as much as their mother. They also got their feisty and stubborn qualities from her as well, which leads them both to situations that Elí is still processing.

Directed by James Vásquez everyone in the cast is very strong. Crotte as Elí is delightful as a seemingly fierce and curmudgeonly woman with an emotionally soft center. She is funny, wise, and vulnerable and while most of her lines are in Spanish, her body language and delivery communicate everything very clearly.

Morales brings a weary but persistent hopefulness as the community counselor who is trying to help Elí and Teo help themselves. Josef makes a strong debut as a kid who is struggling to do everything he and his mom needs and finds a kindred baseball spirit in Elí. Chavez and Rosado are both winning as Elí's children who aren't afraid to make hard decisions.

The scenic design by Anna Louizos is a dilapidated park with a chain link fence with a lot of miscellaneous items for Teo to clean up. Mirroring the characters' journeys, there is much for the performers to work through to get to the park where it's Ready to Play. Lighting by Rui Rita is beautiful as it plays with shadows and colors to create stained glass, seemingly ghostly beams of light, and changes the grass from brown to green as the scene and sometimes the characters need, with believable vibrancy.

Review: UNDER A BASEBALL SKY at The Old Globe

The sound design by Leon Rothenberg is truly gorgeous, as everything from the crack of a bat to the ball in a mitt is timed and implemented perfectly. The physicality of the actors in time with the sound design is also impeccable, if you didn't know better you would think that Crotte as Elí is actually catching the powerful pitch thrown by Teo.

The costume design by Danielle Nieves fits well with the piece and gives it that sense of place and timelessness that is needed as some of the moments of magical reality transcend a precise place and time.

UNDER A BASEBALL SKY is a funny, sweet, and hopeful show about the love of family, community, and baseball can change a person's life forever.

How To Get Tickets

UNDER A BASEBALL SKY playing through March 12th at The Old Globe. For theatre tickets please go to

Photo Credit: Photo by Rich Soublet II.


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