Richard Topol Stars as Yogi Berra in Primary Stages' BRONX BOMBERS, Beg. Tonight

Primary Stages has announced that Richard Topol (Broadway's The Normal Heart, The Merchant of Venice) will assume the role of Yogi Berra in their World Premiere production of Bronx Bombers, written and directed by Tony Award nominee Eric Simonson (Broadway's Lombardi). Due to artistic differences, Joe Pantoliano, initially announced to play the role of Yogi Berra, will not continue with the production. The production has delayed its first performance to tonight, September 20. Opening night remains scheduled for October 8 at 7pm. Bronx Bombers runs through October 19 at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

Topol joins the previously announced ensemble featuring Francois Battiste (Broadway's Magic/ Bird), Chris Henry Coffey (Off-Broadway's Water by the Spoonful), Bill Dawes (Broadway'sLombardi), Christopher Jackson (Broadway's In the Heights, Memphis), Wendy Makkena (Broadway's Side Man), Keith Nobbs (Broadway's Lombardi), John Wernke (Broadway's The Lyons) and C.J. Wilson (Happy Now? at Primary Stages, Broadway's The Big Knife, Glengarry Glen Ross).

Ruth. Berra. DiMaggio. Jeter. The New York Yankees has never had a shortage of star players. In this world premiere from the creative team behind Broadway's Lombardi and the director of the Primary Stages hit String of Pearls, Bronx Bombers examines how baseball's most storied franchise has always remained focused on maintaining a great team, even when dealing with some of the game's most iconic and tempestuous personalities. How do they do it? Well, as Yogi always said, "You can observe a lot by watching."

Bronx Bombers features Scenic Design by Beowulf Borritt, Costume Design by David. C. Woolard, Lighting Design by Jason Lyons, and Original Music and Sound by Lindsay Jones.

LISTINGS INFORMATION: Bronx Bombers plays a limited engagement September 20- October 19 at The Duke on 42nd Street - a New 42nd Street project. (229 West 42nd Street, between 7thand 8th avenues). Performances are Tues.-Thurs. 7pm, Fri. 8pm, Sat. 2 & 8pm, Sun. 3&7 pm. There is an added performance Wed, October 16 at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased online at Dukeon42.org, by phone at 646-223-3010 or at the box office. Regular box office hours at The Duke on 42nd Street are: Tues.-Fri. 4pm- 7pm; Sat. 12 pm- 6pm. Box Office hours are extended on performance days. Group Tickets (10+) are $49 each for all performances. Student group tickets are available for $39 each. Group sales are available by calling (212) 840-9705, ext. 204. Please visit the website at www.primarystages.org, or call (212) 840-9705 for additional information.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Francois Battiste (Reggie Jackson/Elston Howard) Broadway: Prelude to a Kiss (Roundabout),Magic/Bird. Off-Broadway: Detroit '67 (Public), Broke-ology (Lincoln Center), The Good Negro (Public Theatre, OBIE Award), The Winter's Tale (Delacorte), The Merchant of Venice (Delacorte), Ten Things to do Before I Die (Second Stage). Regional: Williamstown, Sundance, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Lookingglass, Victory Gardens, Dallas Theatre Center. Selected TV/Film: "The Good Wife," "Person of Interest," "Are We There Yet?" HBO's The Normal Heart, Men in Black III, You Bury Your Own. Founding member of The Collective Theatre Co. in Chicago.

Chris Henry Coffey (Joe DiMaggio) is pleased to be making his Primary Stages debut. Most recently he was seen in A.R. Gurney's The Dining Room at the Westport Country Playhouse, directed by Mark Lamos and in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Water by the Spoonful at Second Stage, directed by Davis McCallum. Most recent film and TV credits include The Little Tin Man (which will release 2013) and Epilogue (which premieredat Tribeca FF 2013). Also Neil LaBute's BFF and David Schwimmer's feature Trust. Recurring roles on "Law & Order: CI", guest-stars on "The Good Wife", "Cupid", "Law & Order", and others. Coffey is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Bill Dawes (Mickey Mantle/Thurman Munson) Bill's last play was Lombardi on Broadway. On TV, Bill has recently guest starred on "Criminal Minds," "Rizzoli & Isles" & "Law & Order." He's appeared in several independent films including I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Adam, and Evenhand. As a comic, Bill is a staple at the Hollywood Laugh Factory, a regular headliner at The Tropicana in Las Vegas, and is currently part of The Leatherneck Tour performing on Marine bases throughout the world. He has also toured Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the USO.

Christopher Jackson (Derek Jeter) Broadway: Memphis, In The Heights, The Lion King. Off-Broadway: The Jammer, Cotton Club Parade, Lonely I'm Not, In The Heights. TV: "A Gifted Man," "White Collar," "Nurse Jackie," "Gossip Girl," "Fringe," "Oz." Film: Tracers. Charter member of the Hip-Hop/Improv comedy group, Freestyle Love Supreme. Emmy award-winning composer and lyricist for collaboration with Will.I.AM for Outstanding Original Song. Jackson was co-music director for the Emmy Winning PBS Show, "The Electric Company" and composed music for "Sesame Street". Solo album: In the Name of Love.

Wendy Makkena (Carmen Berra). Broadway: the leading role of Terry in the Tony Award winning Best Play, Side Man (Fanny nomination), Pygamalion (with Peter O'Toole), and Lend Me a Tenor. Off-Broadway: Cynthia Ozick's The Shawl opposite Dianne Wiest (dir. Sydney Lumet); MTC: Richard Greenberg's The American Plan, Donald Margulies' Loman Family Picnic, and Prin with Eileen Atkins; Playwrights Horizons: The Water Children (also LA; LA Drama Critics' Circle Award and Robbie Award for Best Actress); In Harms Way at Circus Theatricals L.A.; and selected by Harold Pinter for the American Premiere of Mountain Language opposite David Strathairn and Jean Stapleton, along withThe Birthday Party (CSC). Film: State of Play, Sister Act 1 and 2 (Sister Mary Robert), Noise, Eight Men Out, Air Bud, Finding North, Camp Nowhere. TV: Series regular on "The Mob Doctor," "NCIS" (recurring as Kate's sister), "Oliver Beene," "Listen Up" (opposite Jason Alexander), "The Job" (ABC), "A League of Their Own" (dir. Penny Marshall), "Philly," "NYPD Blue," "House," and "Law and Order." Wendy is a classically trained Juilliard musician, plays R&B guitar, and danced with New York City Ballet.

Keith Nobbs (Billy Martin) Broadway: Lombardi, The Lion in Winter. Off-Broadway: The Tutors,The Great God Pan, Lemon Sky, Dog Sees God, Romance, Dublin Carol, Triple Happiness, Four(Lortel Award, Drama Desk nom.), The Hasty Heart, Free to Be You and Me, Hope is the Thing with Feathers, Fuddy Meers, Stupid Kids. Television: "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" (upcoming), "The Pacific," "The Black Donnellys" (series regular) and others. Film: The Bad Guys, Weakness, Phone Booth, 25th Hour, Double Whammy and others. Graduate of LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts.

Richard Topol (Yogi Berra) has appeared at Primary Stages in Opus. On Broadway he has been seen in The Normal Heart (Drama Desk Award) and The Merchant of Venice (with Al Pacino), The Country Girl (directed by Mike Nichols), Cymbeline, Julius Caesar (with Denzel Washington), School for Scandal, and in Clifford Odets' Awake & Sing (Drama Desk Award). Other off-Broadway credits include Regrets (MTC), King Lear and Twelfth Night (Public Theater), The Winter's Tale (Public Theater - Shakespeare in the Park), When the Rain Stops Falling (LCT), Mouth to Mouth (The New Group), Hamlet (Theatre for a New Audience), Omnium Gatherum. Also Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, Naked Angels, EST, New Georges. Regional: Long Wharf, Yale Rep, McCarter Theatre, Hartford Stage, ACT, among others. Film/TV: Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Mickey Blue Eyes, Party Girl, "The Good Wife", "Elementary", "Perception", "Pan Am", all the "Law & Order" series, "Rescue Me", "Nurse Jackie", "Damages", "Ed", "Gilmore Girls", "Malcolm in the Middle", "Drew Carey", and "The Practice" (recurring). As a teacher and director, he has worked at NYU's Graduate Acting Program, Fordham University, Hunter College, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Brown University, ESPA, and with The Acting Company. He has taught Scene Study, Auditioning, Shakespeare, Acting for the Camera, among many other classes. He holds an MFA from New York University, is a Fox Foundation Fellow, a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect and an Acting Company Alum.

John Wernke (Lou Gehrig). Broadway: The American Plan, The Lyons, Accent On Youth, The Royal Family. Off Broadway: Cactus Flower, Ten Chimneys, A Little Journey. Regional: American Conservatory Theater, Ma-Yi Theater, Portland Center Stage, Capital Repertory, People's Light and Theater, Two River Theater. Film/TV: The Good Shepherd, Broken English, "Life On Mars," "NYC Serenade." BFA Boston University.

C. J. Wilson (Babe Ruth). Primary Stages: Happy Now? (Lucille Lortel nom.) Broadway: The Big Knife, Glengarry Glen Ross, A Steady Rain, Festen, Henry IV, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Gore Vidal's The Best Man. Off-Broadway: Medieval Play, The Lady from Dubuque (Signature); All-American (LCT 3); Offices, The Voysey Inheritance (Atlantic Theater); Race (Jewish Rep); Stop Kiss(Public). Regional: Berkshire Theatre Group, Williamstown, Wilma, Old Globe, McCarter, ACT in Seattle, Shakespeare Theatre, Hartford Stage, Syracuse Stage, Chautauqua, Acting Company. Film: The Magic of Belle Isle, Ghoul, Campfire Stories. Television: "The Good Wife," "The Americans," "Blue Bloods," "Pan Am," "Onion Sportsdome," "Without A Trace," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: CI," "Third Watch," "Amsterdam," "Fox Fellow."

Primary Stages is an Off-Broadway theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting. We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 100 new plays, including David Ives' All in the Timing (both the original 1993 production and 2013 revival); Kate Fodor's Rx; Charles Busch's Olive and the Bitter Herbs; A.R. Gurney's Black Tie; Horton Foote's Harrison, TX and Dividing the Estate (Two 2009 Tony Awardnominations); Brooke Berman's Hunting and Gathering (one of New York Magazine's Top TenPlays of 2008); Terrence McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams (starring Nathan Lane andMarian Seldes) and The Stendhal Syndrome (featuring Isabella Rossellini and RichardThomas); Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter's In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); and Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright's U.S. debut). In 2008, Primary Stages was honored with the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, which encompasses much more than the plays we produce for the stage. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our education and training programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), and the Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting. Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important-and often transformative-connections within the theater community.

Founded in 1990, The New 42nd Street is an independent, nonprofit organization charged with long-term responsibility for seven historic theaters on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. In addition to running The New Victory Theater, The New 42nd Street built and operates the New 42nd Street Studios a ten-story building of rehearsal studios, offices and a 200-seat theater named The Duke on 42nd Street for national and international performing arts companies. Since its opening on June 21, 2000, the New 42nd StreetStudios has been fully occupied by both nonprofit and commercial theater, dance and opera companies. With these institutions and the other properties under its guardianship, The New 42nd Street plays a pivotal role in fostering the continued revival of this famous street at the Crossroads of the World.

The Duke on 42nd Street is an intimate black-box theater available for rental to both domestic and international nonprofit and commercial organizations. Featuring a gallery along all four walls and a custom-built, state-of-the-art seating system, the flexible-use space offers full light, sound and support systems in various configurations. The Duke on 42nd Street is a fully-staffed, full service facility in the heart of the theater district. Many performing arts companies have called the space their home, including The Royal Court Theatre, Transport Group, Theatre for a New Audience, Lincoln Center Theater, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Armitage Gone! Dance, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Naked Angels, Classical Theater of Harlem, Playwrights Horizons, 92nd Street Y's Harkness Dance Project, The NYC Tap Festival and Lincoln Center Great Performers and the National Theater of Great Britain.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos


Related Articles

Off-Broadway THEATER Stories | Shows


From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...