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The Big Game Is Coming, but Where’s the Coach?

The Big Game Is Coming, but Where’s the Coach?
Anita Gates, New York Times | August 29, 2010

Thank goodness for Arlene A. McGruder. As Coach Hicks in Layon Gray’s otherwise unremarkable “All-American Girls,” she makes Louis Gossett Jr.’s drill-sergeant character from “An Officer and a Gentleman” look like a weakling.

“All-American Girls,” now at the Actors Temple Theater, is about a fictional World War II-era baseball team of young African-American women, the Red Diamonds, assembled for a Chicago exhibition game against a team of white women, the Rockford Peaches. (Maybe you remember the Peaches from the film “A League of Their Own,” best known for the line, “There’s no crying in baseball.”)

Although Mr. Gray (also the author of “Black Angels Over Tuskegee”) makes an important point about pioneering black women, what he has written is a whodunit. As Act I begins, Coach Hicks has gone missing. She has left a letter of resignation, but the Red Diamonds don’t believe that such a devoted coach would abandon ship. A young student reporter (Mari White) has gotten permission to interview the players. (Read the full article)