Bull Durham, Broadway-Aimed Baseball Musical with Will Swenson, Melissa Errico and John Behlmann, Premieres in Atlanta Tonight

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03 Sep 2014

Will Swenson
Photo by Greg Mooney

Will Swenson, Melissa Errico and John Behlmann take a swing at Bull Durham, the world-premiere, Broadway-aimed baseball musical that debuts Sept. 3 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA.

Bull Durham 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.

Kip Fagan (The Revisionist) directs the production that runs through Oct. 5. An official opening night is set for Sept. 13.

Tony nominee Swenson (Les Misérables, Hair) stars as veteran catcher "Crash" Davis, with Tony nominee Errico (Passion, High Society) as Annie Savoy and Behlmann (Journey's End) as baseball rookie Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh.

The cast also features Brent Bateman as Larry Hockett, Jake Boyd as Jimmy, Lora Lee Gayer (Follies) as Millie, Jordan Gelber (Elf) as Joe "Skip" Riggins, Joel Hatch (Annie) as Max Patkin, Manuel Herrera (West Side Story) as Jose, John Clarence Stewart as Deke and Joe Tippet as Hack Arnold.



In a previous interview with North Carolina's News Observer, Shelton spoke of a life for the musical beyond the Atlanta engagement. "We run that for five weeks, then if all goes well, we’re on Broadway next spring," he said.

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 has been brought to the Durham Bulls to prepare rookie Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh, a hot rod pitcher with a 'million dollar arm and a five cent head,' for the majors. Annie Savoy, 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. Bull Durham is a pitch perfect blend of comedy, drama, and steamy romance."

Creative team members also include choreographer Joshua Bergasse ("Smash"), musical director Jason DeBord, Tony Award winner Derek McLane (scenic design), Tony winner Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Tony Award nominee Toni Leslie James (costume design) and Tony nominee Peter Hylenski (sound design).

Visit alliancetheatre.org.