Damn Yankees is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (who also collaborated on The Pajama game) and a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop. The story applies the Faust legend to Washington D.C. in the 1950s, a time when the New York Yankees were dominating baseball. Based on the novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop, the tale follows Joe Boyd, a man who makes a desperate deal with the Devil to help his team, the Washington Senators, finally beat the juggernaut Yankees.
Damn Yankees originally opened on May 5, 1955 and ran for 1,019 performances. Its success can be attributed in no small part to the choreography of the legendary Bob Fosse (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Pippin, Chicago) as well as the talent of the cast, which featured Gwen Verdon (Can-Can, Sweet Charity, Chicago). After premieres and revivals on Broadway and in London's West End, this show remains a favorite for regional, community, and school theatres. A celebrated production at New York City Center in 2008 starred Jane Krakowski (Nine, TV's 30 Rock, as Lola, Sean Hayes (Promises, Promises, TV's Will & Grace) as Applegate, and Cheyenne Jackson (All Shook Up, Xanadu) as Joe. Grab your Damn Yankees tickets right away to see this classic show live.Plot Synopsis:
Joe Boyd, a middle-aged real estate agent, is a long-time fan of the perpetually disappointing Washington Senators. One night, after his wife Meg goes to bed, he says he would sell his soul for a long ball hitter to save his team and help them finally beat those "damn Yankees." From nowhere, the Devil appears in the guise of a "Mr. Applegate," offering him a deal: in exchange for his soul, Applegate will turn him into super-slugger Joe Hardy. Joe agrees and leaves his home and wife to help his team, shrewdly insisting on an escape clause: if he plays in the final game on September 25, there is no turning back, but if he walks away from the deal by 9:00pm that night, he goes back to his normal life.
The team is impressed by Joe and he immediately joins the team, attracting the interest of reporter Gloria, who chronicles the Senators' rise through the standings. But despite his success, Joe desperately misses Meg, and begins boarding with her as she learns more about this familiar young man. Applegate sends Lola, one of his best seductresses, to split the couple up, but Joe can not be swayed. Still determined to ruin Joe, Applegate releases false information framing him for identity fraud. Gloria soon busts the scandal open and forces Joe into court.
On the day of the Senators' final game against the Yankees, Joe is backed into a corner in court because he can not provide identification for his new persona. Tensions in the court room heat up until Applegate sends Joe to hell to think. There, he meets Lola, who is so touched by his love for his wife that she sends him to the game and stalls Applegate for him. As 9:00 approaches, Joe is at bat. Applegate uses his powers to give Joe two strikes and as the clock strikes nine, he claims victory, but at the last minute, Joe yells "Let me go!" and is released from the deal. Though he is transformed back into his old self, he remarkably still hits a home run and wins the Senators the pennant.
Joe rushes back to Meg's loving arms at home, where Applegate tries to collect his soul. But Joe's and Meg's love is too powerful for Applegate to contend with and he returns to Hell, defeated, as Joe and Meg are blissfully reunited. Order your Damn Yankees tickets now to see this classic story full of suspense and love.Awards: 1956 Tony Awards: 9 nominations, 7 wins 1994 Tony Awards: 4 nominations, 1 win 1994 Drama Desk Awards: 3 nominations, 1 win 1997 Olivier Awards: 3 nominations Creative Team: Music Richard Adler Lyrics Jerry Ross Book George Abbott, Douglass Wallop Based on The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop Damn Yankees News: April 21, 2012 Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Damn Yankees opens, running through May 20! March 7, 2012 Paper Mill Playhouse's production of Damn Yankees opens, running through April 1!