Johnny Baseball Uses Red Sox, Baseball to Entertain, Educate

Johnny Baseball Uses Red Sox, Baseball to Entertain, Educate The story of the Red Sox’ struggles on the baseball diamond throughout the 20th century were well-documented throughout the years and continue to be documented today.

The musical Johnny Baseball re-visits those painful memories, but also sheds light on some other, more important painful memories of the times.

NESN’s Don Orsillo looked closer at the musical that is running until July 11 at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, Mass.

The American Repertory Theatre is putting on the musical that looks at not only the trials and tribulations of being a Red Sox fan for the last century, but it also tackles the larger social issue of race-relations.

The story focuses around a young character named Johnny O’Brien, who plays for the Red Sox in the 1920s, while being in love with an African-American woman named Daisy.

Stephanie Umoh, who plays the role of Daisy, said that the musical’s ability use baseball as a representation of life is one of the more appealing aspects of the musical.

“I love how they apply baseball to life,” Umoh said. “I thought it was a very universal theme.”

Colin O’Donnell plays opposite Umoh as the role of Johnny O’Brien. He said the larger message of the performance is what makes the musical so special.

“It was more than just about baseball, it’s a very universal story,” O’Donnell said. “Baseball is just one of the things they use to represent a slice of American history.”

While Johnny Baseball is based on some of those issues of society throughout the 20th century, a lot of the musical is based on the love and desire Red Sox fans have long shown their team.

“What I loved about it, is it pays homage to the fans of the Red Sox and their passion and their going on the rides of the ups and downs and the drama of that, which I find so touching and inspiring,” director Diane Paulus said.

Check out the video below or click here for’s Jessica Isner’s story on Johnny Baseball for more on the musical.

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