This year marks the 48th season of the Broadway Softball League, founded by John Effrat of the Actors' Fund. Each year, currently running Broadway shows are eligible to play Thursdays from 11 AM on at the Heckscher Softball Fields in Central Park.
Today at 11 AM, the cast of Movin' Out chases an impossible dream against Man of La Mancha; the bohemians of La Boheme face off the hair-hoppers of Hairspray; those base-running feet of 42nd Street compete against the lion-hearted The Lion King crew; ABBA joins forces with country music as Urban Cowboy and Mamma Mia! take on the futuristic malcontents of Urinetown; and, finally, in the oddest match-up of all, Enchanted April and the Atlantic Theatre Company look to best Blue Man Group and Menopause the Musical.
At 1:30 PM, the acting ballplayers of Take Me Out become real ballplayers against Aida; Rent's '80s slackers challenge Thoroughly Modern Millie's '20s flappers; Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera create a battle of the behemoth musicals; powerhouse nonprofits the Roundabout Theatre Company and Playwrights Horizons (aided by Hank Williams: Lost Highway) start a different sort of season; and The Producers dare to displease real life producers, the Shuberts.
Beginning at 3:30 PM, the Nederlanders and former strikers, Musicians Union Local 802, are on opposite sides of a battle for the second time this season; the Actors' Fund assaults Madison Square Garden; Actors' Equity tries to show Jujamcyn Theatre who performs best; and the David of the Treasurers Union Local 751 takes on the Goliath of Radio City.
The Heckscher Softball Fields are located at 63rd and Central Park West. The Broadway Show League is on the web at http://www.broadwayshowleague.com. Last year The Producers won as Show Champions; Local One, IATSE, came out Broadway Champions; and 42nd Street took Consolation Champions.