“Mungo!” An American Pastime During Fringetime!

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017By Ernest Kearney — For those of you who are unschooled in America’s favorite pastime, Van Lingle Mungo was a Major League pitcher who played with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1931 to 1941 and then with the New York Giants till the end of his career soon after the end of World War Two.

Mungo’s claim to fame off the pitcher’s plate can be found in the famous quote by Casey Stengel who was his manager on the Dodgers:

“Mungo and I got along just fine.  I won’t stand for no nonsense, and then I duck.”

Mungo was the hard-drinking, two-fisted kinda guy who sports writers love for the copy they provide.

Written by Marc Peter Reyna and James Harmon Brown Mungo! finds the ball player’s ghost visiting Goob’s Bar and Grill, in his home town of Pageland, South Carolina, which still celebrates his birthday and draws on his presence.

Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolutionThe play is a solid piece of writing, entertaining and informative.  The only fault that one can find is that it hasn’t fashioned the hook to bring in those with little interest in sports.

Directed by George Lockwood with craft and intelligence and featuring a strong and engaging performance by the playwright Reyna as Mungo the piece has pathos and potency.

And handing out boxes of Cracker Jacks as the audience leaves the theater ensures this production a GOLD MEDAL.

David Kitch served as producer.


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Mungo! played during Fringe 2017 at The Complex in Hollywood

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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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