Barbara Zaragoza 4:30 p.m., May 25
Don and Michael coach a Little League team. Dictatorial Don, an ex-ballplayer with an injury-shortened career, says fun means winning. Kinder, gentler Michael, a businessman who couldn't tell a fielder's choice from a fungo, disagrees. Fun lies in the playing, he says, in the spirit of the game. Each has a son on the team, who may or may not let his father down.
Richard Dresser's two-person comedy takes this odd couple through an entire season. Along the way, the two kinds of fun vie for the championship ring. You can predict the eventual melding of minds. But the curves life throws them, on and off the playing field, make for a fun evening at Scripps Ranch Theatre
Although stumbling with some lines, Walter Murray gives Michael a rising arc from bumbling newcomer (who wants to provide the kids with a "safe, nurturing environment") to a spikes-up, take the extra base, hardcore horse-hider.
John Nutten has the juicier part. Where Michael's civil, almost to the point of repression, Don has four-alarm, anger management issues (if it weren't for baseball, he confesses, he'd dream almost exclusively about "sex and revenge").
Nutten revels in the role. This is one of the year's funniest performances. A loose cannon control freak, Hutten draws laughs at will. He (and director Robert May) cuts through the stereotype, however. Don actually means well. He just keeps shooting himself in the foot.
His solution? Get a bigger gun.