After a bout of depression culminating in an unsuccessful art show, painter Dana (Heather Hawkins) lands in a mental hospital, where all her needs are taken care of so long as her insurance will cover it. That means 10 days. Concerned that she can't handle the real world yet, she conspires with an alcoholic and a sociopath to find a mental diagnosis more acceptable to the insurance company. Multiple Personality Disorder is the winner, and Dana takes on Darryl Strawberry as her alter ego, even though she knows little about either Strawberry or baseball. Her doctors don't buy it for a minute, but if she's that desperate to stay, they figure, maybe she should. Written by Rebecca Gilman, Sweetest Swing is a comic exploration of identity, desire, and art. In spite of characters who occasionally insist on sharing their subtext, the play flows well and the production is very enjoyable. Director Shana Bestock and her cast have an excellent sense of comic timing, and Hawkins' performance especially is gripping. As she attempts to embody Darryl Strawberry, we see her struggling to hang onto herself. BRENT ARONOWITZ A joint production of ArtsWest and Seattle Public Theater. Green Lake Bathhouse, 7312 W. Green Lake Ave. N. 524-1300, www.seattlepublictheater.org. $15-$24. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends April 13.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Feb. 20. Continues through April 13, 2008