AUBURN – “Diamonds” is a show that’s all about baseball.

It’s coming up on the Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theatre stage for two shows only on April 26-27, and it looks like the local team has all the bases covered.

It’s a musical revue that Celeste Philippon, director and producer, describes as “basically a New York variety show.”

There’s something for everyone in this production. You don’t have to be a fan to find a lot of fun here.

“Diamonds” originated more than 20 years ago. It was the product of Hal Prince, legendary producer/director, and a long list of notable Broadway composers and lyricists. They include lyricists Betty Comden, Adolph Green, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Howard Ashman, Craig Carnelia, Alan Menken and Jim Wann. Among the all-stars on the composer lineup are Gerard Alessandrini, Cy Coleman, Larry Grossman, John Kander, Doug Katsaros, Alan Menken, Jonathan Sheffer, Lynn Udall and Albert VonTilzer.

The work of all these contributors was shaped into an all-encompassing montage of our national pastime.

“This is not just about baseball as a sport,” Philippon said. “There’s a lot of history in the script.”

“It’s a good blend of light and playful to deep and thoughtful,” Philippon said.

Some people might think this would be a compilation of familiar baseball songs, especially since Hal Prince originally brought “Damn Yankees” to the stage. It is not. It is original material just for “Diamonds,” but Philippon points out that the audience will catch familiar themes and nuances in the work of some better-known contributors.

“Hundreds of Hats” is the name of one song Philippon picks as a favorite. It recalls the period around 1920 when fans at games would throw their straw hats into the air and onto the field in appreciation.

She said audiences are sure to like “Favorite Sons,” an ensemble number about parenting and sports. It’s not just about Little League. “It’s very funny and right on the mark,” Philippon said.

Three skits called “Fanatics” deal with memories of that clutch home run and everyone’s dream of growing up to be a ballplayer.

Another of the pieces in “Diamonds” looks at the youthful terror of waiting to be picked for a team.

Then there’s “Stay in Your Own Backyard,” a look back at experiences in the Negro League before Jackie Robinson broke the race barrier.

The show also has a segment dealing with the Black Sox scandal of the 1919 World Series. “It was not a nice time for baseball,” Philippon said.

There was no attempt to write in any updated material, so don’t look for much about the Red Sox team’s recent successes or steroids controversy. The show is presented as written in the 1980s, except for a poem Philippon found named “714.” It adds some perspective on the record-breaking home run feat of Hank Aaron.

And what would a baseball show be without a re-creation of the classic Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First?” routine? Some CLT fans can probably guess who in the following list of performers will portray the two comedians:

Glenn Atkins, Connor Crawford, Dan Crawford, Bruce Gerry, Duane Glover, Don Libby, Crystal Packard, Mariah Perry, Roger Philippon, James Sargent, Nancy Sirois and Alison Traynor.

Paul G. Caron is music director and Perry choreographed the show. Adam Blais is stage manager, Adam Klein is set and lighting designer, and Eileen M. Messina has served as consultant for “Diamonds.”

Philippon said it’s a family show. There’s no adult language, but there’s a bit of double-entendre that probably would go over the heads of younger children who may attend.

This is CLT’s annual “fun”-raiser for the 2008-2009 season.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 27.

All tickets are $20. For tickets, call the CLT box office at 783-0958. Tickets also may be purchased online at www.laclt.com.


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