The Catamounts presents a wild mashup in musical ‘Small Ball’

Mickle Maher

Here’s an itch you probably never thought you’d scratch: a mashup between Gulliver’s Travels and professional basketball.

This fall, The Catamounts presents the regional debut of Chicago-based playwright Mickle Maher’s fantastical musical Small Ball.

The story follows a basketball player named Michael Jordan, who is unfortunately not that Michael Jordan, but a lonely, aimless journeyman player. He ends up signing a contract with the Lilliputian Existers — the tiny folk from Jonathan Swift’s 18th-century novel. As you can imagine, it’s a tough collaboration, as Michael Jordan won’t pass a regulation-size basketball to his action-figure-sized teammates for fear of killing them. Post-game press conferences aren’t much prettier than the games. 

Daryl Morey, general manager of the Philadelphia 76’ers, commissioned the play. 

The Cats will be the second company to mount the musical, after Catastrophic Theater produced a six-week run in Houston in 2018.

“We (Colorado) are starting to be known for innovative, risk-taking work,” says Cats artistic director and co-founder Amanda Berg Wilson, who is also acting in David Byrne’s much-anticipated immersive production Theater of the Mind. “I mean, that’s why David [Byrne] came here. It’s why Daryl [Morey] is helping us get this production up on its feet. Because it’s a great place to develop really wild new work.

Oct. 29-Nov. 20, Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan, Denver,