Play ball! — almost. The Broadway Show League softball games officially begin May 9, but there are two preseason games scheduled on Central Park's Heckscher Softball Fields April 18 and May 2.
Competing in the 11:30 AM league are The Full Monty, Oklahoma!, 42nd Street, The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Sweet Smell of Success, The Lion King, Urinetown and Mamma Mia!. Playing at 1:30 PM are The Producers, Rent, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Tale of the Allergist's Wife, The Goat, Aida, Blue Man Group, Roundabout Theatre Company and Lincoln Center. The final league, at 3 PM, includes Local One, TREAS 751, Actors Equity, Shurbert Organization, Radio City Music Hall, Jujamcyn, Actors Fund, Actors Federal Credit Union and Metropolitan Opera.
2002 marks the 47th season of the Broadway Softball League, founded by John Effrat of the Actor's Fund. Each year, currently running Broadway shows are eligible to play Thursdays from 11 AM on at the Heckscher Softball Fields in Central Park. Michelob Light, sponsoring the League in 2001, donated $50,000 to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids for the honor.