VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Damn Yankees, 1956
By Brynn Cox
On this date 58 years ago, Damn Yankees premiered on Broadway.
Following the success of The Pajama Game, director George Abbott reunited with choreographer Bob Fosse to present the latest musical by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross.
Gwen Verdon, who delivered a Tony-winning performance in 1953's Can-Can, earned the role of the seductress Lola; the production marked the first of many collaborations between Verdon and Fosse, who wed in 1960.
The musical premiered May 5, 1955, to a hearty reception from critics and audiences alike. At the 1956 Tonys, Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston and Russ Brown earned awards for their performances, and Bob Fosse won for his choreography. Damn Yankees took home the Tony for Best Musical.
The production went on to play 1,016 performances and received a Broadway revival in 1994 starring Bebe Neuwirth as Lola and Victor Garber as Applegate.
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