Look Back at the Original Production of Damn Yankees on Broadway

From the Archives   Look Back at the Original Production of Damn Yankees on Broadway
 
The Tony Award-winning musical, starring Gwen Verdon and Stephen Douglass, opened at the 46th Street Theatre on May 5, 1955.
Damn_Yankees_Broadway_Production_Photos_1955_HR
Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon ©NYPL for the Performing Arts

The original Broadway production of Damn Yankees opened at the 46th Street Theatre on May 5, 1955. The Golden Age musical, starring Gwen Verdon and Stephen Douglass, would go on to be nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning 8 including Best Musical and Best Actress in a musical for Verdon. The production, directed by George Abbott, played for 1,019 performances before closing October 12, 1957.

With music and lyrics by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler and a book by Abbott and Douglass Wallop, Damn Yankees tells the story of a middle-aged man who sells his soul to the devil to become a baseball player to help his beloved Washington Senators beat the Yankees in the World Series. But despite the devil's best attempts—including bringing on the sexy Lola—to keep him under his sway, the man ultimately wants to return to his wife.

Flip through photos of the production below:

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