Critics agree that the new revival of Take Me Out has stood the test of time. With some adjustments to the script and an extremely talented starting line-up of actors, the themes of the show are as relevant as ever and the story is funny, emotional, engaging and thought-provoking.
New York Times Review of Take Me Out
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. True, dropping a few flies along the way and throwing some wild pitches — forgive the baseball metaphors, which the play indulges with the zeal of a convert — makes “Take Me Out” a bit baffling in parts. It’s not the kind of work that benefits much from postgame analysis, which reveals flaws in construction and logic. But in performance, now no less than in 2002, when it had its New York debut at the Public Theater, it is mostly delightful and provocative. Perhaps especially for gay men, it is also a useful corrective to the feeling of banishment from a necessary sport.
TimeOut Review of Take Me Out
Nearly 20 years after its Tony-winning run in 2003, Take Me Out has returned to Broadway at Second Stage’s up-close-and-personal Helen Hayes Theater. Directed by Scott Ellis, it remains provocative, intelligent and engaging. … The play’s investigations of class, race and masculinity seem as relevant today as they were two decades ago. … Take Me Out dramatizes the power of knowledge to transform our experience, for better or worse: The shower that had been innocent is now fraught with uncomfortable sexuality; words become springboards for puns and double meanings; a championship ring becomes recognizable as jewelry. With a twist of the wrist—a queering of the pitch—Greenberg takes a much-examined pastime and makes it a whole new ball game.
Variety Review of Take Me Out
Public and personal identities are constantly being examined, teased and tested in Richard Greenberg’s “Take Me Out,” his grand paean to baseball and ontological quandaries, which is receiving a starry and satisfying Second Stage revival at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway. It’s been 20 years since the play first stunned audiences with its rich writing, provocative themes and a locker room full of naked men. (And still an active major league player has yet to step up to the bat and come out as gay.) 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. … Despite some new tweaks, Greenberg’s ambitious script still has a pile-on of themes, dealing with gender, race, sexuality, celebrity and spirituality, not to mention major league sports. But the playwright and this production still manage to bring it home in the play’s ninth inning with a graceful, bittersweet denouement that leaves characters still searching, still discovering and still in play for another season.
New York Post Review of Take Me Out
Greenberg’s play, directed by Scott Ellis, comes across less hypothetical today than 20 years ago. Since then, high-profile Olympians like Gus Kenworthy, Tom Daley and others have come out. … And, aside from discussions of sexuality, the question of athletes’ emotional state has also been thrust to the forefront by the likes of Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles. … “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. It helps that every cast member could be mistaken for a real ball player, which you can’t say about about most New Yorkers who got their MFA in acting. … Don’t come to “Take Me Out” for the feel-good uplift you got from “Field of Dreams” and “A League of Their Own” — come for 100-miles-per-hour, dirt-in-the-cleats drama.