Batter Up! Double Play

A NoHo Arts theatre review of  Brett Moore’s Batter Up! Double Play,  Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024.

[NoHo Arts District, CA] –   A NoHo Arts theatre review of  Brett Moore’s Batter Up! Double PlayHollywood Fringe Festival 2024.

I am not a baseball fan. I thought I knew absolutely nothing about the game until I saw Brett Moore’s Batter Up! Double Play. He begins the show by proving that we do indeed know much more about the game of baseball than we imagine, even those philistines like myself who avoid it like the plague. Baseball, he points out, is so embedded in the American tradition and culture that we unthinkingly use phrases every day that come directly from the game.

Well, that was out of left field I had to cry…yes, yes it was. Of course, I can only give you a ballpark figure on how many times that happens, without touching base with an expert. But if I had to step up to the plate, although I would rather avoid grandstanding, I might get a whiff of a number somewhere in the wheelhouse, etc., etc., etc.

A NoHo Arts theatre review of  Brett Moore’s Batter Up! Double Play,  Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024.

Brett Moore’s amazing mind can recall dozens of these at the drop of a hat. And it’s this that he bases his remarkable show around. The fact that baseball, more than any other sport, is such a part of our language as well as our culture that it has created millions of connections between people that may never have occurred otherwise. Dads who found it hard to talk to their kids could talk about baseball. It has somehow found a way to level the field, to even the score, to bring parity to a nation so often disparate and divided. The paradox that a competitive sport can incur deep connections between strangers, even if they bat on different teams so to speak is I suppose part of the charm of it. 

Brett takes us on a tour of what he loves about the game. And he is infectious with that love. I sat mesmerized by his passion for the sport, by his deep love for it, and the memories it triggers of long hot afternoons spent in the stands, cheering and supporting and sitting with fellow enthusiasts waiting for the magic and the mayhem.

I’m English, so I have cricket. But although I love the game, it doesn’t really have the charisma of baseball. There’s no dugout to glare out of. No nifty outfits and spitting. But Brett and his smiling face full of the decades of games and statistics he miraculously pulls up time and time again convinced me that baseball is about more than the few hours of game time. That there’s a magic that happens when a few thousand or even a few dozen people get together to watch men throw small hard balls at each other and try to hit them with long thin wooden bats. This is not lost on me.

A part of the show is a game he has invented. He tries to guess the name of a player an audience member has pulled out of a hat. A major league player inducted into the hall of fame and without any further clues to help him. Other than the eight questions he can ask.  Like how many home runs, how many strikes, how many runs, etc., to find out the identity of the player. Of course that’s very hard to do when there have been thousands of hall of famers. But he manages somehow, by a means of elaborate and nerve-wracking eliminations, to find the name and win the game.

A NoHo Arts theatre review of  Brett Moore’s Batter Up! Double Play,  Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024.

So he’s not a competitive guy at all then? I can’t really imagine anyone with this much unearthly knowledge in their one brain who wouldn’t be the most competitive person in any room. But that’s another reason why this show is so brilliant. Because it inspires a kind of child-like fervor of excitement. He plays a game within the show to prove I think how naturally competitive we all are and how fun that is. And he’s right. The best thing about holidays or parties is always the games, win or lose!

Batter Up reminds us that fun is important. That baseball has always been a way to feel good. If you don’t win you have at least played the game. If you strike out at least you swung for the fences and played hardball. 

I loved this show. Brett is a genius at all the names and numbers and dates of course, but he’s also genuine and authentic, and he fills the room up with his baseball life force. So if you want to have some fun and watch a baseball savant blissfully at work then Batter Up is the Hollywood Fringe show you should go to bat for!

Batter Up was a huge hit in 2019, before Covid and this version has a totally new format. I am told more exploration of the history of the game and its immensely positive impact in darker times when things were tough…so that’s good to remember now, when things are getting darker out there. We’ve all come through worse and a bit of positive nostalgia might be exactly what we need right now. Bravo Brett!!



The Hobgoblin Playhouse
6440 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038


Friday, June 21 at 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 23 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 29 at 5:30 p.m.