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Damn Yankees

a Musical Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by George Abbott & Douglass Wallop (book), Richard Adler & Jerry Ross (songs)

COMPANY : Atlanta Lyric Theatre
VENUE : Jennie T. Anderson Theatre-Cobb Civic Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 4712

SHOWING : April 10, 2015 - April 26, 2015

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The Lyric welcome the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County with the classic baseball musical "Damn Yankees!" Winner of eleven Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Choreography, "Damn Yankees" is sure to be a homerun hit. Based on Douglas Wallop’s “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant,” Damn Yankees gives a new twist to the legend of Faust when a devilish dealmaker offers middle-aged baseball fan Joe Boyd the chance to take his beloved Washington Senators to victory over the “damn Yankees” in return for his soul, Joe takes it. But as the Senators’ stats soar, Joe realizes he’s losing his wife and looks for a loophole. Enter sizzling-hot temptress Lola, a charter member of the Home-wreckers Hall of Fame. Who will win? We’re not telling! This classic musical will have fans on the edge of their seats enjoying hit favorites like “Whatever Lola Wants,” “Heart,” and “Six Months Out of Every Year.”


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Heidi Cline
Gloria Thorpe Mary Nye Bennett
Commissioner/Strane/Reporter George Deavours
Sister Jessica DeMaria
Bouley/Ensemble Fenner Eaddy
Ensemble Arielle Geller
Lola Meg Gillentine
Linville/Ensemble Avery Gillham
Ensemble Natalie Rhae Goodwin
Lynch/Brian/Guard Jordan Harris
Joe Boyd/Reporter Steven J Hornibrook
Ensemble Jenna Jackson
RockyEnsemble Andrew Klopach
Welch Brian Kurlander
Henry/Ensemble Nathan Lubeck
Applegate Jeff McKerley
Meg Boyd Kathleen McManus
Smokey/Ensemble J. Koby Parker
Joe Hardy Chase Peacock
Miss Weston/Ensemble Becca Potter
Benny Van Buren Glenn Rainey
Sohovik/Ensemble Tyler Sarkis
Doris Xylina Stamper
Vernon/Ensemble Brian Turner
Postmaster/Reporter Evan Weisman
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REVIEWS

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Lola Wants, Lola Gets
by playgoer
Monday, April 27, 2015
4.5
"Damn Yankees." It’s "Faust" at the ballpark, with song and dance. At Atlanta Lyric Theatre, as always, this is a high-quality show chock-a-block with talent. Most of the faces are familiar ones, and they prove once again that they’re the epitome of metro triple threats.

The scenic design by James Bullins consists primarily of ballpark-like stair units on either side that meet at an elevated platform up center. Baseball card blow-ups and a giant Washington Senators pennant frame the proscenium. Living room and locker room elements are rolled onstage as appropriate for some scenes, with a fence unit coming down from the flies for a couple of additional scenes. It’s a spare, workable space that leaves lots of room for dancing. And oh! what a lot of dancing there is.

Jennifer Smiles’ choreography uses rolling sofas and baseball bats to full advantage, providing an athleticism appropriate to the story. Her Fosse-inspired take on "Two Lost Souls" is perhaps too slavishly derivative, but it gives the female ensemble a chance to shine in a show unusually deficient in chorus girl numbers.

Costumes, by Costume World Theatrical, add visual appeal, as does Andre Allen’s lighting design. Auditorily, the orchestrations and vocal balance are fine, but Bobby Johnston’s sound design pumps up the volume to ear-splitting levels. With powerful speakers at either side of the stage at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, audience eardrums at the far sides of the auditorium are subjected to painful sound levels. It’s a huge detriment to the show.

Of course, it’s the on-stage talent that the audience takes most delight in. Chase Peacock proves once again that his good looks and powerful voice belong center stage. Jeff McKerley, using every crowd-pleasing trick in his big shtick bag, makes Applegate a fun demonic figure. Kathleen McManus provides a big voice and big heart for the production, giving some marvelously subtle comic reactions in "Near to You." And Meg Gillentine, as temptress Lola, uses her remarkably expressive hands (and feet and arms and face and, well, everything) to sell every moment of her songs.

Everyone else in the cast does a creditable job, although the only male ensemble member I could actually buy as a ballplayer rather than a chorus boy was the energetic AJ Klopach. Director Heidi Cline McKerley keeps the action moving, and music director Paul Tate keeps the music on track throughout. This is a highly professional production making good use of local talent, telling an enjoyable story with sparkling songs and rousing dances. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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