Cardinals-Cubs rivalry the focus of “Bleacher Bums”

By Gary Scott on September 16, 2016 at 6:09am

The latest theater production coming to Jacksonville deals with the city’s two most beloved professional baseball teams.

Director and actor Rich McCoy is bringing his version of “Bleacher Bums” to the Playhouse on the Square this weekend and next.

“’Bleacher Bums’ is set in the right field bleachers of Wrigley Field during a Cubs, Cardinals game in 1998. If you remember, 1998 was the year when (Mark) McGwire and Sammy Sosa were having their big home run race, so they are in the ‘game’ as well as other names that Cubs and Cardinals fans will recognize. It starts with ten characters commenting on the game, betting on the game. It’s just sort of a slice of life comedy about the game,” says McCoy.

McCoy explained the origins of the play and says that this is the first time the show has come to Jacksonville.

“The play originated in Chicago at the Organic Theater. Actor Joe Mantengna and a group of others created this show. It was just something that developed over time, they had spent time in Wrigley and they had observed some characters. So it’s something that’s been around for quite some time, it hasn’t been brought to Jacksonville before, and so I thought this year would be a great year to bring it, with the success the Cubs are having, I thought, ‘Why not? Let’s do it,'” McCoy explains.

As for the cast…

“We’ve got a cast of ten, kind of a cross-section of Jacksonville actors. Oddly enough, not one of them was a Cub fan to start. It required a little bit of acting, there are Cardinals fans and Yankees fans and Dodgers fans but no Cubs fans,” says McCoy.

Show times for the production start this weekend, with show tonight and Saturday starting at 7:30. Next week, “Bleacher Bums” will have shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 followed by a Sunday matinee on September 26th.

Advanced tickets may be purchased at Our Town Books or at the theater prior to the performance.