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Sterling Theatre Troupe stages baseball musical classic
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The show is being billed as “Damn Yankees, the musical with ‘Heart.’” The ever-popular song “Heart” – as in “You Gotta Have Heart” – comes from the show, which features music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. Winner of 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Choreography, “Damn Yankees” has a book by legendary Broadway showman George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, who wrote the book the musical was based on, “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant.” Besides “Heart,” the show includes memorable songs such as “Whatever Lola Wants,” “Six Months Out of Every Year,” and “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo.”
The classic musical premiered on Broadway in 1956 and was made into a movie with much of the original Broadway cast the following year. It again came to Broadway in the 1990s in a revival eventually helmed by Jerry Lewis.
Damn Yankees is an Americanized Faustian tale. It tells the story of Joe Boyd, a middle-aged baseball fanatic who is a long-suffering fan of the Washington Senators. In a moment of desperation, Joe trades his soul to the Devil, known as Mr. Applegate in the show, for a chance to lead his favorite team to a victory in the pennant race against the hated New York Yankees. He magically becomes a baseball sensation known as Joe Hardy, and transforms the hapless Senators into a winning team, only to later realize the true worth of the life that he left behind.
“Damn Yankees is one of those shows that resonates with audiences of all ages. It’s a modern interpretation of the classic Faustian tale set in the world of America’s favorite pastime,” said director Dennis Dutton. “The catchy music and iconic characters, such as Lola of ‘Whatever Lola Wants’ fame, as well as the devilish Mr. Applegate really bring this show to life.” He adds, “Title aside, it’s really a fun-filled, energetic show with an enduring, sentimental story that will be great for kids as well as adults.”
Tickets for the Sterling Community Theatre production of Damn Yankees will be $10 for adults and $5 for students and will be available at the door before each performance.