EXCLUSIVE: Muny's Damn Yankees to Feature Kritzer, Stadlen, Charles, Kunze, Reams and More

News   EXCLUSIVE: Muny's Damn Yankees to Feature Kritzer, Stadlen, Charles, Kunze, Reams and More
 
Leslie Kritzer, the award-winning Broadway singing actress and cabaret performer who was most recently seen in the acclaimed revue Sondheim on Sondheim, will play the role of Gloria Thorpe in the St. Louis Muny's upcoming production of the classic musical Damn Yankees, which will begin performances July 12 at the nation's oldest and largest outdoor theatre.

Leslie Kritzer
Leslie Kritzer

Directed by Paul Blake with choreography by Mary MacLeod, the production will run through July 18.

The cast will also boast the talents of Linda Mugleston as Meg Boyd, Walter Charles as Joe Boyd, Lewis J. Stadlen as Applegate, Eric Kunze as Joe Hardy, Lee Roy Reams as Van Buren, James Anthony as Welch, Zoe Vonder Haar as Sister, Angie L. Schworer as Lola, John Freimann as Stadium Announcer, Alex Sanchez as Rocky, Francis Jue as Smokey, Aaron Kaburick as Sohovik and Lee Anne Mathews as Doris.

The ensemble will comprise Amy Michele Allen, Lori Barrett-Pagano, Matthew Bauman, Jennifer Brissman, RJ Brown, Audrey Cardwell, John Contini, John Freimann, Lili Froehlich, Erika Hebron, Leeds Hill, Lynn Humphrey, Ryan Koss, Anne Markt, Lee Anne Mathews, Kenny Metzger, Kelly O'Neil, Charles Osborne, Adam Rogers, Michelle Rombola, Cara Salerno, Alex Shaw, Ted Stevenson, Gregory Theron and James Tolbert.

The production will feature musical direction by Michael Horsley, set design by Steven Gilliam and lighting design by David Lander. The production stage manager is Nevin Hedley; the assistant stage manager is Timothy Eaker; and the production assistant is Ben Plocher.

Paul Blake produces for The Muny; the associate producer is Mike Bosner. Based on the Douglass Wallop novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant," Damn Yankees features music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, and a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop.

The original Broadway production of Damn Yankees opened at the 46th Street Theatre May 5, 1955, playing 1,019 performances before closing at the Adelphi Theatre, where it later transferred, on Oct. 12, 1957. Directed by George Abbott with musical numbers staged by Bob Fosse, the original cast included Gwen Verdon, Stephen Douglass and Ray Walston. The production won 1956 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Walston), Best Actress in a Musical (Verdon), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Russ Brown), Best Choreography (Fosse), Conductor and Musical Director (Hal Hastings) and Stage Technician (Harry Green).

The most recent Broadway revival, which opened in March 1994 at the Marquis Theatre, co-starred Bebe Neuwirth, Victor Garber and Jarrod Emick.

Song titles include "Heart," "Joe at Bat," "Shoeless Joe From Hannibal, MO," "A Little Brains, A Little Talent," "Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)," "Who's Got the Pain?," "Those Were the Good Old Days" and "Two Lost Souls," among others.

A recent City Center Encores! Summer Stars production featured Jane Krakowski, Sean Hayes, Cheyenne Jackson and Randy Graff.

City Center described the musical this way: "It is the story of Joe Boyd, the ultimate baseball fan, who sells his soul to the Devil for the chance to help his team, the Washington Senators, win the pennant race against the Yankees. The Devil is aided by the sexy Lola, who seduces Joe, but ultimately helps him outsmart the Devil and return to his beloved wife."

The remainder of the season includes Titanic, July 5-11; Cats, July 19-25; The Sound of Music, July 26-Aug. 1; Footloose, Aug. 2-8; and Show Boat, Aug 9-15.

For more information about The Muny and the 2010 productions, call (314) 361-1900 or visit www.muny.org.

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