Every summer at New York's Central Park, the Broadway Show League pits the actors and staff of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and theatre organizations against one another each Thursday in a season-long softball championship. This summer, the touring companies of Broadway shows are getting the softball spirit, too, as Titanic, Les Miserables, Rent, Fame and Cabaret face off against one another across the country.
At 10:30 AM Friday, July 23, in Washington, DC, the casts of Titanic and Les Miserables will meet for the first time on one of the six baseball diamonds at 23rd and Constitution.
Titanic started their softball team during their Boston dates (June 9-July 3) when they met their first competitors, the Benny company of Rent. Rent won 23-18 ("pretty much their age range" noted Titanic's Liz McConahay). Rent also recently defeated the tour of Fame during their mid-July stop in Boston.
Despite the loss, McConahay, who plays Titanic's second class social climber Alice Beane, said, "We're having a blast. It's a great way to spend time together outside the show. It's also great for morale, and I think it secretly promotes ensemble-ism, which can only help us on stage as well as on the field."
First baseman Randy Cohen, Titanic's assistant conductor, manages the current Titanic team, which includes catcher/second baseman McConahay, pitcher Rebecca Lowman (the Bellboy), Marcus Chait (Fredrick Barrett), Matthew King (Hichens), Christianne Tisdale (Caroline Clark), Jamey Allison, David Ludwig (swing) and Ken Triwush (Boxhall/Jay Yates). A game-by-game sign up fills the rest of the team, with Margo Skinner (Charlotte Cardoza) and Dana Llyn Caruso (swing) providing the cheerleading squad. The current tour of Les Miserables leaves D.C. July 25. The next softball team Titanic hopes to challenge will come with Cabaret's arrival Aug. 11.
The public can watch games, but be ready for warm Washington weather. Softball vet McConahay warns, "It gets really hot! It's not for the faint of heart."
-- By Christine Ehren