MACON – Baseball meets Broadway in the grand slam musical Damn Yankees at The Grand Opera House April 7 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. A 1950s middle-aged baseball fanatic trades his soul to the devil for a chance to lead his favorite team in the pennant race against the New York Yankees. Faust, fly balls and devilishly good fun all meet at the home plate of this comedy musical that has earned seven Tony Awards. Filled with hit songs, including “Whatever Lola Wants” and “You Gotta Have Heart,” this show has been a home run with audiences since its Broadway debut in 1955. Tickets are $28 to $46, with discount rates available for groups of 10 or more. Purchase by phone at (478) 301-5470 or in person at The Grand, 651 Mulberry St., open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; or purchase online at TheGrandMacon.com.
“Six months out of every year, when we cook for them it never pays; Instead of praising our goulash, they’re appraising the plays of Willie Mays!” So sings the forsaken wife whose baseball crazed husband leaves her (and the goulash) behind to become the young baseball sensation Joe Hardy. Joe transforms the hapless Washington Senators into a winning team, only to realize the true worth of the life and wife he’s left at home. With the help of a handy escape clause and a guilt-ridden temptress named Lola, Joe outsmarts the devil, returns to his former self and shepherds the Senators to the World Series.
Damn Yankees is based on a Faust legend set in the Yankees-dominated baseball scene of the 1950s, first imagined in the book, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, written by Douglass Wallop. Pulitzer Prize- and multiple Tony Award-winner, George Abbott, whose Broadway and film credits include playwriting, acting, directing, and producing for dozens of shows over nine decades, adapted the story for the stage. The music was written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, who are known for their work on another hit musical, The Pajama Game. Damn Yankees opened on Broadway in 1955 with a cast that included Gwen Verdon as Lola and Stephen Douglass as Joe, with choreography by Bob Fosse. The show opened in London’s West End in 1957 and enjoyed revivals on Broadway in 1994 and 2008; and the West End in 1997.
The Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University, is Central Georgia’s premier historic theatre presenting professional Broadway tours, concerts, comedy, dance and variety shows as well as a full season of GrandKids arts education performances. Our stage is also home to the Macon Civic Club’s annual music revue, Macon Symphony Orchestra, Nutcracker of Middle Georgia and several other civic and arts organizations. The fully renovated 1,000-seat theatre is located at 651 Mulberry St. in downtown Macon, Ga. For a complete schedule of upcoming performances visit TheGrandMacon.com or call (478) 301-5470.