Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

March 2, 2020

REVIEW: Majestic Theater, The Pitch

Majestic Theater, West Springfield, MA
through April 5, 2020
by Konrad Rogowski

“The Pitch,” Stan Freeman’s first play, being premiered at the Majestic Theater, is a classic mix of what the public sees and hears about career making, or career breaking, moments in sports, and what really occurs in the shadows of some public figure’s lives, moments that oftentimes define the direction of those lives.

Photo by Kait Rankins
So it appears to be for Vern, played by R. Steve Pierce, a promising young pitcher who blows his first, and only, outing with a major league team by throwing only one pitch, a pitch that loses the game and hurls his career, his marriage, and his health into a 50-year downward spiral. And that would have been the end of his story, until a young writer, portrayed by Julian Findlay, starts to dig into Vern’s past, only to find too many unanswered questions as to the real reasons for Vern’s disintegration.

To solve this life-long question, the writer engages an older sports writer and long-time friend of Vern’s, featuring John Haag in the role, to help unearth the truth, only to find his writing partner becoming increasingly evasive and resistant as conflicting stories start to mount, and Vern’s public history make less and less sense.

What is ultimately discovered and made public then creates the second wave of trauma for those who are left to expose the story, as the issues of personal loyalty, ethics, the right for the public to know, and the burden of profiteering off of other’s personal misfortunes all land at the feet of the two writers.

The interaction and conflicts between the two leads are credible under Danny Eaton’s direction, with flashbacks that illuminate the past and help build the tension as the pieces of Vern’s private puzzle fall disturbingly into place.