Colin Donnell, Stephanie Umoh & More Set For ART's JOHNNY BASEBALL 5/14-6/27

Colin Donnell, Stephanie Umoh & More Set For ART's JOHNNY BASEBALL 5/14-6/27

The American Repertory Theater is pleased to announce the cast for Johnny Baseball, a world premiere musical about the Red Sox, with music by Robert Reale, lyrics by Willie Reale, book by Richard Dresser, story by Richard Dresser and Willie Reale, with musical direction and vocal arrangements by Wendy Bobbitt Cavett; musical arrangements by Bruce Coughlin. Scenic design is by Scott Pask, lighting design by Donald Holder, costume design by Michael McDonald, and sound design by ACME Soundpartners. The production is directed by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus, with choreography by Peter Pucci.

After the Red Sox's stunning collapse in the 2003 playoffs, a baseball-obsessed team of musical theater writers (one long-suffering Sox fan and two oddly sympathetic Yankees fans) began searching for the source of Red Sox's infamous Curse. In Johnny Baseball, writer Richard Dresser, composer Robert Reale, and lyricist Willie Reale have embarked on a journey that has yielded an exhilarating blend of fact and fiction and a new musical that chronicles the stranglehold of the infamous curse and its ultimate, divine release.

Johnny Baseball traces the origin of the Curse to a collision of three orphaned souls: Johnny O'Brien, a hard-luck right-hander on the 1919 Sox; his idol, Babe Ruth; and Daisy Wyatt, a dazzling African American blues singer and the love of Johnny's life. The entanglements of love, friendship, and betrayal in these lives contain both the reason for the Curse and the secret to its end off the bat of Big Papi in 2004. The musical is a thoughtful investigation of the issue of race in major league baseball as a mirror of American societal attitudes through the twentieth century. With lively music and an engaging love story, Johnny Baseball celebrates the 2004 World Series victory under the new ownership in the context of the integration of the game. It packs an incisive commentary on American social history into a funny, heartfelt, and spirited musical that will bring cheers and tears to baseball fans everywhere.

The Company includes Colin Donnell as Johnny O'Brien, Stephanie Umoh as Daisy Wyatt, Burke Moses as Babe Ruth, Charl Brown as Tim, Jeff Brooks as Tom Yawkey, Charles Turner as a fan, as well as Joe Cassidy, Paula Leggett Chase, Kaitlin Davidson, Alan H. Green, Carly Jibson, Robert McClure, and Kirsten Wyatt. The musicians are Tim Ray, piano; Mark Pinto, piccolo, flute, clarinet, alto saxophone; Robert Bowlby, flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone; Rod Ferland, clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone; Jay Daly, trumpet. flugelhorn; Robert Couture, trombone, euphonium; Joseph Higgins, bass; Michael Ambroszewski, percussion.

Colin Donnell (Johnny O'Brien) was seen on Broadway in Jersey Boys, and in the national tours of Wicked and Mamma Mia. He was also seen in New York in Follies at City Center, Meet Me in St. Louis at the Irish Repertory Theatre, and Almost Heaven in the Promenade Theatre; as well as in numerous regional musical productions.

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