By Adam Hetrick
27 May 2014
|Photo by Michael Le Poer Trench|
Bull Durham will begin previews Sept. 3. It is written by the film's original screenwriter Ron Shelton, who has adapted his screenplay for the musical, which has music and lyrics by Susan Werner. The romantic story is set within the world of minor league baseball.
Swenson, who currently stars as Javert in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables, will portray veteran catcher "Crash" Davis. Swenson will go on hiatus from Les Miz July 22-Oct. 5 for the Atlanta premiere of the new musical.
Errico (Passion, High Society) will portray Annie Savoy, with Behlmann (Journey's End) as baseball rookie Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh. Additional casting will be announced.
In an interview with North Carolina's News Observer, Shelton stated, "We're ready to go into rehearsals in Atlanta. We run that for five weeks, then if all goes well, we’re on Broadway next spring."
Shelton also described the sound of the score. "It's very un-Broadway," he said. "It's real roadhouse. You pull over to the side of the road, back in the day, in North Carolina or Mississippi, this is the music that might be going on."
Here's how the Alliance bills the musical: "Bull Durham, loosely based on Ron Shelton’s experiences on and off the field with a Minor League Baseball team, tells the story of three lives brought together by America's two favorite pastimes. Veteran catcher 'Crash' Davis (Swenson) has been brought to the Durham Bulls to prepare rookie Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh (Behlmann), a hot rod pitcher with a 'million dollar arm and a five cent head,' for the majors. Annie Savoy (Errico), self-appointed high priestess and muse of the Bulls, has a hard decision to make - every season she transforms one lucky player from an also-ran to an all-star by sharing with them her wisdom, experience and bed. The love triangle heats up quickly as each character struggles with their own desires and hopes for what the future holds. A pitch perfect blend of comedy, baseball, and steamy romance, BULL DURHAM will leave you cheering from the stands."
The Alliance creative team will also include Tony Award winner Derek McLane (scenic design) and Tony Award nominee Toni Leslie James (costume design).