With It's Solid Gold Heart, Damn Yankees- the Red Sox Version is a Home Run Hit
With Its Solid Gold Heart, Damn Yankees- the Red Sox Version, is a Home Run Hit!
Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, ME proves that musicals from the good ol' days can be just as entertaining (if not more so) as the multi-million dollar, high-tech-effect spectacles that now consume Broadway.
With words and music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, Ogunquit Playhouse brings Damn Yankees- the Red Sox Version, adapted by Tony Award winner, Joe DiPietro, to the stage with a winning cast and production team. Dipietro's adaptation is wickedly fun-tastic.
Director and Choreographer, Jeffry Denman, creates a fast-paced, must-see mega-hit production that slides into your heart and soul with Broadway-like performances. Denman makes clear concept choices with clever and well executed choreography that compliments his scene work.
Musical Director, Ken Clifton, proves why he's an Ogunquit favorite. Clifton always gets the most of his singers, supporting them with seven masterful musicians who sound like a full orchestra. Diction, coloring and harmonies excel.
Carson Kressley (Mr. Applegate) is devilishly delicious, providing a subtle playing field for the entire cast to play on. The audience delights in the Kressley-isms sprinkled throughout. Kressley's vocals and comedic timing prove that he can do more than just make people look fashionably good.
Allison Briner (Meg Boyd) is a powerhouse vocalist with acting ability to match. Briner gives a Broadway-like performance worth the price of admission.
D.C. Anderson (Joe Boyd) is simply stellar. Anderson's vocals soar, his character solid and his relationship with Briner believable.
Sam Prince (Joe Hardy) has well-defined acting arcs, his understated character choices believable and heartfelt. Prince's vocals and choreography beautifully executed.
The musical number, Near to You, with Briner, Anderson and Prince is an emotional highlight.
The beautiful Erin Denman (Lola) gives a multi-layered performance with flawless dancing and seductive vocals. Denman shows her versitiality in the musical numbers, Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets and Two Lost Souls with Prince.
Jennifer Cody (Gloria) is a tornado of talent, appropriately causing conflict with her explosive energy.
Ray DeMattis (Van Buren) is just perfect. Demattis can act, sing and move, proving that "old school" theatrics still work well. Demattis's energy is infectious, his enjoyment on stage evident.
Brad Bradley (Sohovik) lights up the stage with his winning smile, complimenting the ensemble with his leading man-like talent. Bradley has that "certain something" you just love to watch.
The team of Red Sox men give a triple threat performance that is convincing and well-executed. Each team player has a distinct character and shine in their individual moments. With several show-stopping musical numbers, Shoeless Joe, deserves a standing ovation.
Set (Rob Bissinger), lighting (Richard Latta) and sound (Jeremy Oleksa) designers provide a clever production that compliments Denman's vision. From the dazzling preshow curtain with its much applauded Red Sox logo to the period looking sets that flew and slid in quickly, this production team truly did a terrific job.
Costumes, provided by Costume World Theatrical, are appropriate and period, complimenting each character.
The transformation from old Joe to young Joe proves that simple special effects of the mind can still get gasps from the audience that only takes a trick of the eye instead of a million dollars to achieve. Bravo.
Regardless if you're a Red Sox fan, Yankees supporter or know nothing about baseball, the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Damn Yankees is a home run hit in the world series of theater.
Damn Yankees- the Red Sox Version continues through August 18 at Ogunquit Playhouse, 10 Main St, Route 1 in Ogunquit, Me. For tickets and information, call (207) 646-5511 or go to www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.
From This Author Michael Tobin