UPDATE OCT. 25: The stage installation is nearly complete in the Space Theatre.
By John Moore
Work is well-underway for the Denver Center’s upcoming family-friendly production of the magical baseball story “Jackie & Me,” written by Colorado native Steven Dietz.
The play, which opens for previews on Nov. 15 with an almost entirely local cast, promises to be the most engaging stage floor any baseball fan could hope for. Designed by Lisa M. Orzolek, the floor will feature hand-painted baseball cards of dozens of baseball legends, including the Colorado Rockies’ recently retired Todd Helton.
The story follows a 12-year-old Little Leaguer named Joey Stoshack who jumps back in time to witness Jackie Robinson break the baseball color barrier. When Joey’s skin color changes in the process, he learns how different the world can look and how important it is to have a hero.
The edifice of the stage will be that of a stadium. But where the field would be, audiences will see heroes like Lou Gehrig and Steve Carlton, and goats like Mark McGwire and Shoeless Joe Jackson.
And not to give anything away, but wait till you see the chalk lines.
Here are photos of the cast’s first rehearsal, as well as a peek into the Denver Center paint shop where a large crew of artists is busy at work creating part of the magic that will be “Jackie & Me.” All photos by John Moore.
Todd Helton as depicted on the stage floor.
William Watkins, who plays Jackie Robinson, previously appeared in the Denver Center’s “Ruined.”
Director Stephen Weitz leads the opening conversation.
Scenic designer Lisa M. Orzolek explains her vision for the set with cast and crew.
A model of what the Space Theatre will be transformed into.
Assistant stage manager Paul Behrhorst, stage manager Lyle Raper and director Stephen Weitz.
John Jurcheck, Ryan Wuestewald and Leigh Miller play a trio of teen bullies.
Aaron Davidson (below), who plays Joey, keeps a ball and glove at the ready.
William Watkins and Aaron Davidson.
A look at the baseball uniforms that will be worn.
The crew hard at work painting the stage floor.
Brian Proud is part of the paint crew that is painting the stage floor.
These are the real cards that make up the blueprint for the stage floor.
Joe Bacon, brother of “Just Like Us” actor Mary Bacon, is painting a shoe on, yes, Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Philadelphia Phillies pitching great Steve Carlton (here as a Cardinal).
Hey look: Its the beginnings of a scoreboard.
"Jackie & Me"
Opens for previews Nov. 15
Regular run: Nov. 21-Dec. 22
The Space Theatre
Director: Stephen Weitz
Cast: Aaron Davidson, William Watkins, Justin Walvoord, Kristen Adele, John Jurcheck, Diana Dresser, Leigh Miller, Ryan Wuestewald and Tim McCracken.
Ticket information: 303-9893-4100 or go to the Denver Center’s ticketing page