Bleacher Bums is a 1977 play written collaboratively by members of Chicago's Organic Theater Company, from an idea by actor Joe Mantegna. Its original Chicago production was directed by Stuart Gordon. A 1979 performance of the play was taped for PBS television, and in 2002 a made-for-TV movie adaptation was produced.
Bleacher Bums takes place in the bleachers of Chicago's Wrigley Field. The characters are a bunch of Chicago Cubs fans, watching a game in progress on a summer afternoon. Most of them have been gathering here for some time and know each other; even if they might not necessarily like or tolerate each other. Beer is being drunk, hot dogs are being eaten, and friendly wagers start to take on increasing importance.
Bleacher Bums was put on in different cities across the United States. In 1981, longtime Cubs fan Jerry Pritikin, the Bleacher Preacher, was hired as a paid consultant for a production in San Francisco, instructing the cast there on Chicago fan vernacular, and proper fan behavior.
Joe Mantegna and Dennis Franz starred in the original production; other cast members over the years have included Dennis Farina, Gary Sandy, and George Wendt.
A 2002 TV movie version for cable television was directed by Saul Rubinek and starred Brad Garrett, Wayne Knight, Matt Craven, Peter Riegert and Hal Sparks. Due to licensing issues with Major League Baseball, the name of the team was changed from the Chicago Cubs to the Chicago Bruins, and Wrigley Field was renamed.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:30:00 -0700
The off-Broadway classic, "Bleacher Bums," was developed in Chicago in 1977 by two then unknown actors, Joe Mantegna and Dennis Franz. They wrote about life as a Cubs fan in the friendly confines of Wrigley. One of the main characters, Greg, is a blind ...
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:11:01 -0700
"Bleacher Bums" (March 6-15): In the bleachers at Chicago's Wrigley Field, die-hard Cub fans root for their team. The group includes a rabid cheerleader, a blind man who follows the game by transistor radio and does his own play-by-play, a bathing ...
The Champaign Room
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:09:05 -0700
When I'm not following the Illini, I'm also a Blackhawks, Bears, and Cubs fan (Jim and I seem to be the lone Bleacher Bums here). I'll keep tabs on the Bulls and Fire as well, but not as intensely. My soccer fandom has developed recently thanks to the ...
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:11:15 -0700
April 1999, Mets at Cubs: A college choir outing at Wrigley Field, on a beautiful, sunny, 60-some-degree day – while we freeze in the left field upper deck enduring a gale off of Lake Michigan while the bleacher bums tan themselves below. At least we ...
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 14:22:30 -0700
Who decided that it was a good idea to turn bleacher bums into robotic patriots? I've come to resent that disembodied voice that orders me to stand, remove my cap and listen to that song. I've already stood and removed my cap – even with hot dog in one ...
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 07:51:50 -0700
A generation ago, the Organic Theater made its name with "Bleacher Bums," a show that was created after the young guns who ran the Organic observed the thousands of Cubs fans streaming past their theater's door and decided to write and perform ...
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700
When he was a student at Blake High School in Tampa, the young saxophonist would mesmerize the crowds at Tropicana Field with his bluesy rendition. It's not the patriotism I protest. It's the excess. Who decided that it was a good idea to turn bleacher ...
Sun, 29 Jun 2014 19:09:30 -0700
However, after strong first halves by both Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, the future appears much brighter for the bleacher bums of the Friendly Confines. In fact, the improvement has been so noted, both are making pushes for spots on the National ...
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