SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Batter up! The Sofia, Home of the B Street Theatre has a production back on stage called "Love & Baseball," and it's a show filled with success, life, love and sports.
Produced by Jerry Montoya and directed by Imani Mitchell, this show was recently adapted into a feature film on HBO Max and has won awards such as Best Film at the Mexican American Film Festival. Also, the show was chosen for an official selection at the Manhattan Film Festival, the San Francisco Latino Film Festival and the Official Latino Film and Arts Festival.
In "Love & Baseball," characters Will and Michele find out how many strikes it takes to fall in love throughout the span of six years.
"I think it's an exploration into love and the messiness of love," said Mitchell. "Throughout the six years, things have happened in their lives. There have been some developments, but there's always been this connection, this energy between them, but it's also complicated."
Due to poor timing and the reality of life, characters Will and Michele strike out twice, but if fate gives them another shot at the plate, will they hit or miss?
Montoya points out that love is a sport of luck, skill and timing, and this production speaks to the force of love, the power of connection and the admiration of a sport played like an art form. Expect to laugh, cry, and connect!
This is Mitchell's first-ever production at The Sofia, and being that she is a Sacramento native and a woman of color, she's noticed the importance of diversity within the theatre industry.
"It's hard to find diverse roles and it's also hard to find diversity off the stage as well," Mitchell said. "I don't think I've seen a black woman direct a show for many years of my life, I've maybe seen like one or two so I think, more than anything, I think we need more diversity in writing and more diversity in directing."
Montoya comes from a Mexican American family and grew up in Southern California. He started playing baseball at the age of six, so the sport was just part of his family.
Montoya mentioned how a lot of his family members were illiterate, so there was a really strong sense of oral storytelling that made him appreciate the game of baseball.
"Seeing Jackie Robinson playing, Sandy Koufax throwing a perfect game and all these different things and the details of it, you see and hear all those things from your childhood on," Montoya said. "It teaches you this romance and love of the game that's beyond just the actual playing of it; there's this American lore to it and that's kind of what I was trying to capture."
Now being a playwriter who has a strong love for baseball, Montoya knew he had to merge the two to show the audience its importance.
"Love & Baseball" is scheduled to run from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6. There will be preview days on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 and the show officially opens on Friday, Sept. 30. There will also be a 9-at-9 special on Saturday, Oct. 1 where the show runs at 9 p.m. and admission is $9.
Showtimes and tickets are available on the B Street Theatre's website.
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