Where’s Dean Stockwell When You Need Him

There’s an episode of Quantum Leap where Sam is transported back to 1955, into the body of a black chauffer tasked with protecting the elderly, white widow of the former Governor of Alabama. Oblivious to the gravity of the situation, Sam awkwardly commits all sorts of indiscretions: Drinking from a whites only fountain; sitting at a whites only lunch counter; standing up to the good ol’ boys, who happen to be the Sheriff’s sons. As Sam digs himself a hole in the small, segregated town – at first out of naïveté and later out of conviction – the only person in his corner is the woman he drives. And she’s not so certain either.

OK, the episode was basically a rip off of Driving Miss Daisy, but with Scott Bakula jumping into Morgan Freeman. Sort of a backhanded message there – but, hey, that passed for provocative television in 1989. Now, quantum leaping back into that episode that leaps into Miss Daisy is Spring Killing, a play premiering tonight at the Delray Beach Playhouse (950 NW Ninth St., Delray Beach). In this version, a black Southern man named Everett Freeman (I wonder if there’s a relation?) is accused of murder, his only defender a rich old white broad. So if the motivating factor in Quantum Leap was to tell us something profound about race that we didn’t already learn from Miss Daisy, then perhaps Spring Killing is again making the leap to 1950s via the 1980s to give us a new moral. Maybe something about Barack and Hillary? You’ve got from 8 p.m. tonight through April 13 to find out, Sam Jrs. Tickets cost $25. Visit www.delraybeachplayhouse.com.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: March 28. Continues through April 13, 2008