Love and Baseball: Peter Scolari and Tracy Shayne Are On-and-Offstage Spouses in Broadway's Bronx Bombers

By Michael Gioia
20 Jan 2014

Following an eight-year romance, Scolari and Shayne were wed in June 2013 — on one of Scolari's days off from last season's Lucky Guy, (which earned a Tony nod for Best Play) where he played journalist Michael Daly opposite his former "Bosom Buddies" co-star Tom Hanks. Months into their marriage, Scolari admitted, "We still have yet to have a honeymoon."

Although Scolari and Shayne are debating between a tropical island and Las Vegas, this Broadway season, they will honeymoon at the Circle in the Square, where Eric Simonson's Bronx Bombers — the third in the playwright's sports trilogy (and the second starring Scolari, following his stint in the 2012 basketball drama Magic/Bird) — officially opens Feb. 6.

In preparation for Bronx Bombers, Scolari and Shayne — who joined the project for its transfer to Broadway, after a fall 2013 run at Primary Stages — made the trip to Little Falls, NJ, where they met the Berras at Yogi's museum. "I think they approved of us," said Scolari.

"Yeah, they approved," Shayne agreed.



What did the newlyweds chat about with their real-life counterparts? "I talked baseball with Yogi," Scolari, an avid Yankees fan (and childhood baseball player), said with a smile, "because I can! I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I saw Yogi Berra play when I was a little boy [when] his career was winding down as a player and ramping up as a coach and then as a manager... But that's not [his whole] story. In preparing to take on this colossal undertaking of playing an iconic guy, I did some research and found him to be — his playing record — far more meaningful and extraordinary than I really understood as a little boy."

As for Shayne, she picked up on Carmen's St. Louis drawl and absorbed her presence. "It's just so interesting to hear Peter talk about what they had a chance to speak about," she said. "I saw them talking, but I didn't know what they were talking about. Girls are so different! Carmen and I stared at each other for so long! We were taking each other in. I brought her a plate of food. We were looking at each other's clothes. [We had conversations like,] 'Oh, I like your blouse.' ... 'I love your scarf.' It was a bonding moment between us."

Scolari confessed, "Yeah, we didn't do that!" Instead, he said, "I kind of wanted to look in his eyes... He's 88 years old, and everybody whose hand he shakes feels like they're with 'The Guy,' and they are! I aspire to be this way in my humble fashion as an actor. People say, 'How do you go about playing some iconic figure?' The truth of the matter is that the first obligation is to make sure that he's real, and I think I found a point of entry into that — by meeting the man."

(Playbill.com staff writer Michael Gioia's work appears in the news, feature and video sections of Playbill.com as well as in the pages of Playbill magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @PlaybillMichael.)