I think that most of us have thought about what it would be like to be in someone else’s shoes. In most cases, it’s not as glamorous as it seemed from the outside. This was one lesson learned by Joey Stoshack, a young boy who goes back in time to watch history being made by Jackie Robinson.
“Jackie and Me,” a play at the Rose Theater in Omaha – based on a book of the same name by Dan Gutman – follows Joey Stoshack, a young boy with a little bit of a temper, as he gets a history assignment for Black History month. He does not have to do any research with books or online for this assignment. You see, he’s got a special gift. With the holding of a baseball card, Joey is able to go back in time to visit the time of that player.
Joey goes back to 1947, just as Branch Rickey is bringing Jackie Robinson on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He quickly finds how many challenges a person of color had in 1947 – not being allowed to drink from the same fountain as his white teammates, not allowed to stay at the same hotels when on the road, and even getting death threats from baseball fans. There is another twist that I will leave for you to find out when you go to check out Jackie and Me for yourself at the Rose.
The cast was fantastic. The performances that stood out to me were those by Nils Haaland, who played the parts of Coach, Branch Rickey, Eddie Stanky and Babe Ruth, as well as Aaron Ellis, who played Jackie Robinson. Robby Stone as Joey Stoshack was also engaging, as he transported us throughout his journeys.
As all the shows that the Rose theater has, this one leaves you with discussion points for you and your kids. This one has real truth in the history that it tells. “Jackie and Me has hints along the way about how far we have come. However, it also reveals how we still have work to do with regards to race relations.
“Jackie and Me” will be playing from Feb. 28 – Mar. 16, 2014 on Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 2 and 5 pm, Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets are $18 general admission. They can be purchased by calling the Rose at 402-345-4849 or online at www.rosetheater.org. Discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee stores for $14 each. Reservations are required.
Disclaimer: The Rose provided a complimentary viewing of the play. However, all opinions and views are ours.