In "The Jammer," Rolin Jones' imaginative but wearying comedy at the Atlantic Theater's second stage, working-class people in 1958 have their dreams, too. Jack (Patch Darragh) scrapes by with two jobs but desperately wants to skate in the roller derby. He confesses constantly to his bored priest, before deciding to leave his fiancee and go for it.
The cast, directed by Jackson Gay, deftly imitates the roughhouse skating and re-enacts all the bumps and curves on the Cyclone at Coney Island with convincing expertise. The cardboard characters and props are clever, if only the characters didn't feel like cardboard, too. Jeanine Serralles has a feral dazzle as the unbalanced skating star. But Jones, a Pulitzer finalist for his deeply original "The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow" and writer for "Friday Night Lights" and "Weeds," has so much more in him than this childish cartoon.
WHAT "The Jammer"
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 W. 16th St., Manhattan
INFO $45; 212-279-4200; atlantictheater.org
BOTTOM LINE imaginative but wearying roller derby cartoon