By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

 

Not all the Appaloosas are mares, either. Three actors in drag portray some of the players, but if that sounds like a disappointingly predictable and sexist depiction of female athletes, consider that O'Brien directs Sean White's Kennedy Cox, a Madonna ringer with incipient crushes on her teammates, so sweetly and sympathetically (particularly during her "Crazy for You"-style ballad "One Locker Away from Mine"), that it somehow works.

It's impossible to include all the show's charms here, but among its excellent plaid-kilted cast are some chief charmers. Jennie Eisenhower as Coach Shipley Barnes (she's driven by an incident back in '69 involving another big game and some wayward LSD), Alex Keiper's Maureen Gonzales (an orphan brought in to replace a player injured in a horrible horseplay-on-a-slippery-surface accident), and Michael Philip O'Brien as Coach's son Champ (who might finally be able to live out his longstanding high school field-hockey rock-and-roll fantasy) bring winning enthusiasm to their roles. There's no shame in Ogborn's or 11th Hour's game, and they're all winners in my book, whether or not they take home that championship trophy (or the Barrymore Award).

Presented by 11th Hour Theatre Company at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., through March 22.

Tickets: $32-$37. Information: 267-987-9865 or 11thHourTheatreCompany.org.