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Photo Flash: Damn Yankees at City Center

Sean Hayes, Jane Krakowski, Cheyenne Jackson, and Randy Graff star in Damn Yankees, running July 5 – 27, 2008 at New York City Center (55th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues).  Damn Yankees is directed by John Rando and has Music Direction by Rob Berman and the original Bob Fosse choreography recreated by Mary Macleod. A July 10 opening is planned.

Damn Yankees has  music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross,  book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and is based on Wallop's novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant." It is the story of Joe Boyd (P. J. Benjamin), the ultimate baseball fan, who sells his soul to the Devil (Sean Hayes) for the chance to help his team win the pennant race against the Yankees.  The Devil is aided by the sexy Lola (Jane Krakowski), who seduces a now younger, physically transformed Joe (Cheyenne Jackson), but ultimately helps him outsmart the Devil and return to his beloved wife (Randy Graff).

Damn Yankees opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre on May 5, 1955, and ran for 1019 performances, winning four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Choreography (Bob Fosse), Best Actor (Ray Walton) and Best Actress (Gwen Verdon). Songs include "Heart" and "Whatever Lola Wants."

The complete cast (as of June 18) is: Sean Hayes, Jane Krakowski, Cheyenne Jackson, Randy Graff, Michael Mulheren, Veanne Cox, P.J. Benjamin, Megan Lawrence, Robert Creighton, Jimmy Smagula, Kathy Fitzgerald, John Horton, John Selya, with Nathan Balser, David Baum, Jimmy Ray Bennett, Rachel Coloff, Anderson Davis, Marya Grandy, Shannon Lewis, Jay Lusteck, Pamela Otterson, Adam Perry, Karine Plantadit, T. Oliver Reid, Jon Rua, Stacey Sargeant, Alexander Scheitinger, Chandra Lee Schwartz, Baron Vaughn and Cody Ryan. Wise.

Sean Hayes (Mr. Applegate) won an Emmy (and was nominated six times) for his portrayal of "Jack" on "Will & Grace." He starred as Jerry Lewis in the television movie "The Martin & Lewis Story."  His films include Pieces of April, The Cat in the Hat (as the voice of the Fish), Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, and Cats and Dogs (as the voice of Mr. Tinkles). He has won two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a TV Guide Award and an American Comedy Award.

Jane Krakowski (Lola) originated the role of "Dinah the Dining Car" in the 1987 Broadway production of Starlight Express. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Grand Hotel; won the Tony Award for the revival of Nine; played April in Company at the Roundabout Theatre; and appeared alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in the Broadway revival of Once Upon a Mattress.  She starred on television in "Álly McBeal" and can currently be seen as Jenna Maroney on "30 Rock."

Cheyenne Jackson (Joe Hardy) made his Broadway debut understudying both male leads in the Tony Award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. He later served as the standby for the character of Radames in Aida, then originated the role of Matthew in the off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz. He originated his first Broadway leading role in the musical tribute to Elvis Presley, All Shook Up. His performance as Chad earned him much critical praise and the Theatre World Award, as well as nominations from the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor. In 2006, Jackson portrayed Mark Bingham in Universal Pictures' Academy-Award nominated film United 93. He also starred Off-Broadway in Nicky Silver's The Agony and The Agony with Victoria Clark. Jackson, who received a Drama Desk nomination as Best Actor for his starring role as Sonny in Broadway's Xanadu, will return to the production following the run of Damn Yankees.

Randy Graff's (Meg Hardy) many Broadway credits include leading roles in Les Miserables, City of Angels (Tony Award, Best Featured Actress), Laughter on the 23rd Floor, High Society, A Class Act, and Fiddler on the Roof.

John Rando's Broadway credits include The Wedding Singer and Urinetown (Tony Award for Best Director).  His other New York credits include The Dinner Party, A Thousand Clowns and Polish Joke. His previous Encores! credits include Face the Music, Strike Up the Band, Do Re Mi, The Pajama Game and Of Thee I Sing.

Rob Berman is Music Director of the New York City Center Encores! series, where he has conducted and provided musical direction for Stairway to Paradise and Applause. He was the conductor of the Broadway revival of The Pajama Game and music director of the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration's Sunday in the Park with George (Helen Hayes Award, Best Musical Direction). Berman is music supervisor of Irving Berlin's White Christmas and music director for the Kennedy Center Honors.

Mary Macleod's Broadway credits include Fosse, Seussical, Chicago, Company (Kathy), Guys & Dolls, Smokey Joe's Café (Dance Captain/ASM).  She appeared in the very first Encores! production of Fiorello, followed by Can-Can and Juno and was Associate Choreographer for Bye-Bye Birdie. Mary has assisted choreographers Robert Bianca, Chris Chadman, Joey McKneely, Casey Nicolaw, Peter Pucci, and Scott Wise.  She teaches theatre dance all over the country.  

Encores! Summer Stars, an expanded version of City Center's acclaimed Encores! series, is dedicated to presenting more fully-realized productions of classic works of the American musical theater, and to giving leading actors the chance to play roles they were born to play.  Its first production, the critically acclaimed Gypsy starring Patti LuPone, is currently having a successful run on Broadway.

New York City Center Encores! (Jack Viertel, Artistic Director; Rob Berman, Music Director) has, since 1994, celebrated the rarely-heard works of America's most important composers and lyricists.  Conceived as "concert versions," each Encores! season gives three scores the chance to be heard as originally intended by their creators.  Over the years, Encores! has presented the works of the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, Bock and Harnick, Burt Bacharach, Kander and Ebb, Comden and Green, and many more.  The program is the recipient of a special 2000 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Jujamcyn Theaters Award.

The landmark not-for-profit New York City Center was founded in 1943 by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia as Manhattan's first performing arts center, and is now the annual New York City home to Alvin Ailey, American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre's fall season, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Manhattan Theatre Club. New York City Center is host to some of America's and the world's most acclaimed performers and productions, and the producer of the Tony-honored Encores! and Encores! Summer Stars series, and the annual Fall for Dance Festival.

Damn Yankees will run July 5 – 27. Beginning July 12, the schedule is as follows: Tuesday and Sunday evenings at 7 pm, Wednesday – Saturday evenings at 8:00pm, and matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm.Tickets for Damn Yankees are available at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), through CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or online at  Tickets for the Orchestra, Grand Tier are $110 & 85; Mid-Mezzanine tickets are $50; tickets for the Rear Mezzanine are $25

Sean Hayes,Jane Krakowski, and Cheyenne Jackson

Sean Hayes,Jane Krakowski, and Cheyenne Jackson

Randy Graff, Cheyenne Jackson,Jane Krakowski,and Sean Hayes

Photos by Joan Marcus.

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