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Lydia R. Diamond made a premature but promising Broadway debut in 2011 with “Stick Fly,” a serious comedy about an upper-class black family that didn’t quite work but whose best parts left no doubt of her formidable talent. Five years later, “Smart People,” a sharp-witted satire of the academic monoculture at Harvard in which everything worked to glistening perfection, opened off Broadway and marked her as an up-and-comer. Now Ms. Diamond is back with a second off-Broadway premiere, “Toni Stone,”whose title character was the first black woman ever to play pro baseball.
Like its predecessors, “Toni Stone” introduces you to a world about most of us know precious little—the Negro Leagues, in which Satchel Paige played and Jackie Robinson got his start—and does so in a way that is both thought-provoking and hugely entertaining. Directed with terrific zest and potent physicality by Pam MacKinnon and featuring a star-making turn by April Matthis, it’s the show that should have introduced Ms. Diamond to Broadway…
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The trailer for Toni Stone: