That Championship Season

Jason Miller's Pulitzer and Tony award winning 1972 play "That Championship Season" tells the tale of a great high-school basketball team getting together, decades later, to remember the old times.

That gets complicated quickly.

Ben Brantley's New York Times review of a new revival includes this intriguing passage:

Within the show’s first 10 or 15 minutes these guys have casually linked themselves to unsavory activities that include graft, bribery, political patronage and sex (en masse) with a retarded girl in high school. Drinking copiously and slurring ethnic slurs, they are obviously not contented souls. But they have the untarnished memories of that championship season, and they have each other. Right? As Coach (whose personal heroes include both President John F. Kennedy and Senator Joseph McCarthy) tells them, it’s teamwork that keeps this country great in an era of dissension.

That myth unravels so early that much of “Season” is a matter of marking time and waiting for the big symbolic moments, like when somebody throws up into the silver victory cup.