Walton, Lewis and Merrick to Head Cast of North Shore's Damn Yankees

News   Walton, Lewis and Merrick to Head Cast of North Shore's Damn Yankees Initial casting has been announced for the North Shore Music Theatre's upcoming production of Damn Yankees, which kicks off the Massachusetts theatre's 2006 season.
Shannon Lewis
Shannon Lewis

Jim Walton, Shannon Lewis and George Merrick will head the cast of the classic musical as, respectively, Mr. Applegate, Lola and Young Joe. The North Shore production will feature a revised version of Damn Yankees, which will focus on a Red Sox fan rather than a Washington Senators devotee. Performances begin April 25.

The North Shore Yankees boasts an adapted book by Joe DiPietro based on the original Douglass Wallop-George Abbott text. In the North Shore version, which is based on a concept by Jon Kimbell, "a die-hard Red Sox fan makes a deal with the devil to help the Sox take the pennant from the dreaded Yankees." The Jerry Ross-Richard Adler musical will play the North Shore through May 14.

Jim Walton made his Broadway debut in the original production of 42nd Street. His other Main Stem credits include Perfectly Frank, Merrily We Roll Along, Stardust, Sweeney Todd and The Music Man. Walton played Bobby Child in the PBS broadcast of Crazy for You, and his other theatrical credits include And the World Goes 'Round, Closer Than Ever, Scrambled Feet and Lady, Be Good!.

Shannon Lewis was most recently on Broadway as Ursula in the revival of Sweet Charity. She has also been seen on The Great White Way in Fosse, The Look of Love, Contact, Candide and Crazy for You as well as in the City Center Encores! mountings of Sweet Adeline and Tenderloin.

George Merrick starred in the national tour of Carousel and has also appeared in regional productions of Oklahoma!, Brigadoon, Violet, Urban Myths and Cabaret. His film credits include "Scent of a Woman," "Reversal of Fortune" and "84 Charing Cross Road." 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 most recent Broadway revival, which opened in March 1994 at the Marquis Theatre, co-starred Bebe Neuwirth, Victor Garber and Jarrod Emick.

The North Shore Music Theatre is located at 62 Dunham Road in Beverly, MA. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (978) 232-7200 or visit www.nsmt.org.