NORWICH – This year the Norwich High School music department will be staging the 1955 musical comedy “Damn Yankees”. With the book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop
and music and Lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross The story is based on the novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant” by Douglass Wallop.
In this Broadway classic the Faust meets professional baseball. Middle-aged baseball fanatic Joe Boyd trades his soul to the Devil, Mr. Applegate, for a chance to lead his favorite team to victory in the pennant race against the New York Yankees. As young baseball sensation Joe Hardy, he transforms the hapless Washington Senators into a winning team, only to realize the true worth of the life he's left behind. Joe ultimately outsmarts Applegate, returns to his former self, and shepherds the Senators to the World Series. DAMN YANKEES is a home-run hit featuring the all-American past time, baseball.
The original production of Damn Yankees opened on Broadway May 5, 1955, playing for a total of 1,019 performances. Directed by George Abbott, the musical featured Gwen Verdon who went on to legendary mainstream status with a string of well-received shows. It was choreographed by superstar Bob Fosse--his first of many successful shows.
Damn Yankees has been revived on Broadway twice, opening March 3, 1994 and July 5, 2008. The lead role of Mr. Applegate has been performed by several noted actors,
Ray Walston, Uncle Martin in “My Favorite Martian”, Comedian Jerry Lewis and Sean Hayes, Jack on “Will and Grace.”
The cast of thirty two plus stage and light crew have been working hard on this production of Damn Yankees since the beginning of January and it is sure to be another smash success following last year’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The performances are Friday and Saturday April 4 and 5 at 7:30 pm and Sunday April 6 at 2:30 pm in the Norwich High School auditorium. All tickets are $5.00 general admission and are available at the main offices of the Stanford Gibson, Perry Browne Elementary Schools and Norwich Middle and High Schools as well as Service Pharmacy – Norwich. Tickets will also be available at the door before each performance. For more information contact Mr. Sands at 334-1600 x1343.