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The week’s other openings

Where the Great Ones Run; Bang the Drum Slowly; It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues

Where the Great Ones RunTheatre/Theater, Los Angeles, (855) 585-5185 This “sweet tale of fame and regret” unapologetically wears its heart on its sleeve, said the Los Angeles Times. But writer Mark Roberts “has a quick way with a one-liner,” and star Jeff Kober is credible as a country music star who returns home to make amends to his family. Roberts’s dramedy “has the makings of a mellow hit.”

Bang the Drum SlowlyRaven Theatre, Chicago, (773) 338-2177Based on Mark Harris’s 1956 novel, this melodrama about a terminally ill major league catcher is “richly flavored with both cheese and corn,” said Time Out Chicago. But who cares? With Kevin Duvall as the ailing ballplayer and the “incandescent” Michael Stegall as his protective teammate, this staging feels grounded in the real world.

It Ain’t Nothing But the BluesPortland Center Stage, Portland, Ore., (503) 445-3700 This 1994 revue may be “thin on narrative,” but its performers pull out all the stops, said the Portland Oregonian. Led by Mississippi Charles Bevel, one of the show’s creators, the singers and musicians put so much verve into celebrating the blues that they “appear to be plugged into an unlimited energy source.”

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