Olivier winner Lesli Margherita (Zorro the Musical, Matilda the Musical) is Lola in Musical Theatre West's production of the classic musical Damn Yankees, which plays the Long Beach venue October 14-30 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of CSU Long Beach.
She is joined by Jeff Skowron as Applegate, James Olivas as Joe Hardy, Teri Bibb as Meg, Norman Large as Joe Boyd, Aurelia Michael-Holmgren as Gloria Thorpe, Matthew Henersen as Van Buren, Kevin Symons as Welch, Julie Cardia as Sister, Katie Brown as Doris, Daniel John O'Connor as Rockey, Julian Xavier as Vernon, Josh Alvarez as Smokey, Brandon Keith Rogers as Henry/Guard, Quintan Craig as Lowe/Lynch/Postmaster, Richard Bulda as Ballplayer, Cedric Dodd as Bouley/Dance Captain, Logan Rice as Bryant, and Alejandro Muller Dahlberg as Mickey plus ensemble members Marissa Ruth Mayer and Monika Peña.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to play this bucket list role at home on the West Coast with the always amazing MTW and this insanely talented cast,” said Margherita in an earlier statement. “Pinching myself daily."
The production is directed by Cynthia Ferrer with musical direction by Matthew Smedal and choreography by Alexis Carra Girbés.
Damn Yankees has a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and is based on Wallop's novel The Year The Yankees Lost the Pennant.
“For the first time in a while, Musical Theatre West is sticking to the original production to showcase the classic musical in all its glory,” added Paul Garman, executive director of Musical Theatre West. “We thought it was about time to bring back Damn Yankees, which is a national treasure and perfect for both Halloween and baseball season. We hope everyone will join us for a night of fanatical entertainment, from theater lovers to sports fans and anyone in between.”
The original Broadway production of Damn Yankees opened at the 46th Street Theatre May 5, 1955, playing 1,019 performances before closing at the Adelphi Theatre, where it later transferred, on October 12, 1957. Directed by Abbott with musical numbers staged by Bob Fosse, the original cast included Gwen Verdon, Stephen Douglass, and Ray Walston. The production won 1956 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Walston), Best Actress in a Musical (Verdon), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Russ Brown), Best Choreography (Fosse), Conductor and Musical Director (Hal Hastings), and Stage Technician (Harry Green).
The most recent Broadway revival, which opened in March 1994 at the Marquis Theatre, co-starred Bebe Neuwirth, Victor Garber, and Jarrod Emick.
Song titles include "Heart," "Joe at Bat," "Shoeless Joe From Hannibal, MO," "A Little Brains, A Little Talent," "Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)," "Who's Got the Pain?," "Those Were the Good Old Days," and "Two Lost Souls," among others.