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The Perfect Game - Jim Naismith Invents Basketball on stage in Bonita Springs, Florida February 21-23, 2013 Published script reviewed below by D. K. Christi, editor, journalist and author of Ghost Orchid and more...
Book, Music and Lyrics by John Grissmer
A twist in time
Author and playwright John Grissmer began with his stage production of The Perfect Game and finalized the script through publication. The magazine style book with eye-friendly type and presentation is as enjoyable to read as a novella, perhaps more so because the stage directions make every word come to life. It is a story filled with action, humor, drama, poetic lyrics, history and a touch of romance. The musical score enhances the story.
Jim Naismith is the main character as historical inventor of the game of “basket ball.” He appears from the past to give fatherly advice to modern day, ex-coach Nancy whose confidence was broken with the previous season girl’s basketball loss. She is in charge of the cheerleaders.
Two stories, one in the past and the second in the present, are artfully entwined to reveal the creation of basketball details and two related romances in two different eras. The modern day men’s basketball coach, Frank, is thrust into the limelight unexpectedly and needs an assistant, calling on Nancy,
“…So it looks like I’m it for the rest of the season. Head Coach. Big responsibility. The thing is, I need help. A top assistant…I’m offering you the job.”
Naismith in the past and present is creating the basketball game and its rules while courting Maud. These threads are tied together with reporters and narrators who keep the action flowing while imaginary basketballs and hoops appear on stage in the middle of dance and song. The imagination is led by the careful stage directions and the clarity of dialogue and story lines.
Coach Alvin Roach (appropriately named) appears as the villain, coaching the Arch Rivals. Emotion and excitement builds to the final Home Team vs. Arch Rivals game. Professional and personal relationships evolve, tied to the creation of basketball as the exciting game played today. The tension builds throughout the story to the final action on the court – the final shot.
The Perfect Game is a great read to add another dimension to the enjoyment of basketball.
For another exciting point of view see Salon.com and Basketball, The Musical by YAGO COLÁS, THE CLASSICAL