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Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Itamar MosesBACK BACK BACK, which is currently in performances at New York City Center – Stage II (131 West 55th Street), has received a rave review in the Wall Street Journal.


Below is Terry Teachout’s complete review where he calls the show, “one of the best new American plays to come my way in 2008.”



Wall Street Journal

By Terry Teachout


Itamar Moses is having himself a time. Two of his plays, “Back Back Back” and “Yellowjackets,” had high-profile premieres in San Diego and Berkeley earlier this year, while “The Four of Us” transferred from San Diego to New York for a successful Off-Broadway run. Meanwhile, “Bach in Leipzig,” the play that put Mr. Moses on the map in 2005, was revived to brilliant effect by Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Not bad for a 31-year-old phenom.


Now BACK BACK BACK has made its way to the Manhattan Theatre Club in a new production directed by Daniel Aukin, and I am delighted to report that it is a very superior piece of work, one of the best new American plays to come my way in 2008. This is all the more surprising given the unpromising fact that BACK BACK BACK is issue-driven – and that the issue in question is the use of steroids by major-league baseball players, about which José Canseco wrote three years ago in “Juiced,” the tell-all memoir whose publication triggered the congressional hearings that Mr. Moses portrays in the next-to-last scene of his play.


I know nothing about baseball beyond what I learned from watching “Bull Durham” and “Eight Men Out,” but I had no difficulty grasping what was going on in BACK BACK BACK. As a precaution, though, I brought along a baseball fan who assured me at evening’s end that Mr. Moses had gotten everything right – and that the play closely tracks the real-life events on which it is based. Yet BACK BACK BACK never feels like a docudrama, much less a polemic. Instead Mr. Moses has given us a taut, touchingly elegiac study of friendship and betrayal, one whose three characters (all perfectly played by Jeremy Davidson, James Martinez and Michael Mosley) are creatures of flesh and blood, not historical sock puppets.


To call Itamar Moses “promising” no longer makes sense. He is already one of America’s most accomplished playwrights, and I think he has even better things ahead of him. In the meantime, get in on the ground floor by seeing “Back Back Back.” Even if you don’t know the difference between a line drive and a foul ball, you’ll be glad you went.


Mr. Teachout, the Journal’s drama critic, blogs about theater and the other arts at www.terryteachout.com. Write to him at tteachout@wsj.com





Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Itamar Moses’ BACK BACK BACK is currently playing at MTC at New York City Center – Stage II (131 West 55th Street).


Directed by Daniel Aukin (former artistic director of Soho Rep, director of Everything Will Be Different, [sic]), the production stars Jeremy Davidson (“Army Wives,” Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at The Kennedy Center), James Martinez (U.S. Drag, “Numb3rs”), and Michael Mosley (HBO’s “Generation Kill,” NBC’s “Kidnapped”).


Does greatness always come with a price? Can only someone with nothing to lose tell the whole truth? From Itamar Moses, the acclaimed writer of last season’s MTC Stage II hit The Four of Us and Bach at Leipzig, comes a stirring new drama about America’s favorite pastime. BACK BACK BACK follows the turbulent careers of three very different teammates (Davidson, Martinez, and Mosley) in baseball’s steroid era whose clubhouse secrets bring them under federal scrutiny. This timely new play reveals a riveting portrait of pressure, paranoia and payback in professional sports.


The creative team for BACK BACK BACK includes David Zinn (scenic and costume design), David Weiner (lighting design), and Ryan Rumery & Daniel Baker (sound design).


Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, MTC has become one of the country’s most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. MTC productions have earned a total of 16 Tony Awards and five Pulitzer Prizes, an accomplishment unparalleled by a New York theatrical institution. Renowned MTC productions include Top Girls; From Up Here; Come Back, Little Sheba; The Receptionist; LoveMusik; Blackbird; Translations; Shining City; Rabbit Hole; Doubt; Proof; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Kimberly Akimbo; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Sylvia; Four Dogs and a Bone; Putting It Together; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Crimes of the Heart; and Ain’t Misbehavin’


This season, MTC’s Broadway stage was renamed the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). The landmarked theatre has been the institution’s home on Broadway since 2003 and was rehabilitated by MTC following a two-year, $35 million capital campaign. In addition, MTC operates two theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street), its Off-Broadway home since 1984.


For more information on Manhattan Theatre Club, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.



  • Via New York City Center Box Office (131 West 55th Street), City Tix (212-581-1212) and www.nycitycenter.org: Single tickets for all Manhattan Theatre Club productions at New York City Center are available by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212, by visiting www.nycitycenter.org or by going to the New York City Center box office. Tickets are $52.00. Group and student rates are also available. For group ticket information, call (212) 399-3000 x 4132. Student tickets are $25 and will be on sale for all performances based on availability on the day of the performance, up to one hour before showtime. Call (212) 581-1212 for further information. MTC at New York City Center is accessible to people with disabilities and is equipped with a hearing augmentation system.
  • MTC Subscriptions: You can subscribe to MTC by calling (212) 399-3030, Monday – Friday, noon – 8 PM, with a major credit card. Subscriptions are available online at www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.



  • TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2 – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM.
  • TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9 – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 PM. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM. Please note there will only be seven performances on sale to the general public this week.
  • TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16 – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21: Tuesday – Sunday at 7:30 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:30 PM. Please note there are nine performances this week.
  • MONDAY, DECEMBER 22 – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28 (Christmas Week): Monday – Tuesday at 7:30 PM. Friday – Sunday at 7:30 PM. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM. Please note there are seven performances this week.

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