Richard Dresser always intended for "Rounding Third," his two-character comedy about mismatched dads coaching their sons' Little League baseball team, to open with the pair meeting in a bar. And that's how it's playing in its West Coast premiere at the Laguna Playhouse.
But one actor's fame prevented the playwright from having it his way in the only previous production, last fall at the Northlight Theatre in Skokie, Ill. George Wendt was cast as Don, the blustery guy who thinks winning is job one and lords it over his assistant coach, who just wants the kids to have fun. "Everybody knows him from 'Cheers,' and the last thing we wanted was to have George Wendt on a barstool with a beer," Dresser says. Hoping to draw audiences into the world of his play -- instead of flashing them back to a place where everybody knows your name -- Dresser had the two meet on a ball field instead.