Rounding Third By Richard Dresser
John Houseman Theater
450 West 42nd Street
In terms of drama, Richard Dresser's Rounding Thirda two-character play about the unlikely friendship between a pair of Little League dads who couldn't be more differenthas about as much excitement as the current anticlimactic Yankees- Marlins World Series. Baseball plays rarely hit it out of the park, and Dresser manages no more than an infield single with his story of a blue-collar coach trying to mold his softhearted yuppie assistant into a win-at-any-cost team leader. Don, a gruff housepainter with a marriage on the rocks and a kid who'd rather be starring in Brigadoon, has no patience for Michael's "play to the best of your abilities" attitude. This isn't softball, after all; it's baseball as a shopworn metaphor for life. Dresser has an eye for damning comic detail, but it's the actors, under John Rando's direction, who reveal all-star potential. Robert Clohessy unsentimentally finds chinks of tenderness in Don's bullying exterior, while Matthew Arkin reveals the killer drive underneath Michael's flaccid sportsmanship. No championship trophies heremerely solid professionals transcending their middling game.