Joe at Bat: Damn Yankees Begins City Center Run July 5

News   Joe at Bat: Damn Yankees Begins City Center Run July 5 Following its acclaimed production of Gypsy, which transferred to Broadway and recently won three Tony Awards, City Center's Encores! Summer Stars series returns for a second season with the Tony-winning Damn Yankees, which begins previews July 5.
Damn Yankees stars Sean Hayes, Jane Krakowski and Cheyenne Jackson.
Damn Yankees stars Sean Hayes, Jane Krakowski and Cheyenne Jackson. Photo by Joan Marcus

The baseball-themed musical boasts a starry cast led by Jane Krakowski as Lola, Sean Hayes as Mr. Applegate, Cheyenne Jackson as Joe Hardy, Tony Award winner Randy Graff as Meg Boyd, Megan Lawrence as Gloria, Michael Mulheren as Benny Van Buren, Veanne Cox as Sister Miller, P.J. Benjamin as Joe Boyd, Robert Creighton as Smokey, Jimmy Smagula as Rocky, Kathy Fitzgerald as Doris Miller, John Hortonas Mr. Welch and John Selya as Mambo Dancer.

The ensemble comprises Nathan Balser, David Baum, Jimmy Ray Bennett, Rachel Coloff, Anderson Davis, Marya Grandy, Shannon Lewis, Jay Lusteck, Pamela Otterson, Adam Perry, Karine Plantadit, T. Oliver Reid, Jon Rua, Stacey Sargeant, Alexander Scheitinger, Chandra Lee Schwartz, Baron Vaughn and Cody Ryan Wise.

Damn Yankees, which will play City Center through July 27, features direction by John Rando with musical direction by Rob Berman. Mary MacLeod has re-created the original Bob Fosse choreography. Opening night is July 10.

The creative team also includes set designer John Lee Beatty, costume designer William Ivey Long, lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski and sound designer Scott Lehrer.

Damn Yankees has a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and is based on Wallop's novel "The Year The Yankees Lost the Pennant." The musical, according to press notes, is described as such: "It is the story of Joe Boyd, the ultimate baseball fan, who sells his soul to the Devil (Sean Hayes) 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 (Jane Krakowski), who seduces Joe (Cheyenne Jackson), but ultimately helps him outsmart the Devil and return to his beloved wife (Randy Graff)."

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.

City Center is located in Manhattan at West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. For tickets, priced $25-$110, call (212) 581-1212 or visit www.nycitycenter.org.

Randy Graff, Cheyenne Jackson, Jane Krakowski and Sean Hayes
Randy Graff, Cheyenne Jackson, Jane Krakowski and Sean Hayes Photo by Joan Marcus