WMC to stage 'Damn Yankees' at Alumni Hall Cast features students, others SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

November 09, 1992

"Damn Yankees," the classic Broadway musical featuring upbeat songs by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, will be performed by the Western Maryland College theater department Friday through Sunday and Nov. 19-21 at Alumni Hall. All shows will begin at 8 p.m.

Directed by Dr. Ronald Miller, associate professor of theater arts at WMC and department chairman, the production will feature a cast of more than 20 students and local actors, and a five-piece musical group of college and area musicians.

"It's the biggest production we've done in years, the biggest the college has had since we did 'West Side Story' three years ago," Dr. Miller said. "We're going for a very flexible production with lots of quick changes by the cast. It's just good fun."

"Damn Yankees" was written in 1955 by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, with songs by Adler and Ross, including "Near to You," "Heart," "Whatever Lola Wants" and "Shoeless Joe From Hannibal, Mo."

The story is about a man who is willing to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for a winning season for his favorite baseball team, the lowly Washington Senators.

Of course, he becomes a star player for the team, with lots of complications.

"Can he win the pennant and save his soul? Will he get his wife back?" Dr. Miller joked. " 'Damn Yankees' hasn't been revived much, but I would say it is the classic musical of '50s Broadway."

The original Broadway production of 1955 ran for more than 1,000 performances, and a film version starring Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston was produced three years later.

Lead cast members of WMC's production will include Chris Patrick of Mount Airy; Maria Duva of Middletown; Scott Grocki of Westminster; and Jennifer Dean of Frederick.

Dr. Margaret Boudreaux, assistant professor of music at Western Maryland, is the musical director. Lighting and set design are being handled by Ira Domser, associate professor of theater arts at WMC. Choreography is by local actor and director Jean Burgess, and costumes are by Theatre on the Hill veteran Joyce Fritz.

The musical's painted backdrops are the work of Sara Lundberg '94, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Bo Lundberg of Eskiltuna, Sweden.

Advance ticket prices for "Damn Yankees" are $8 for the public and $4 for students. At the door, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

Tickets are available by calling the theater department at 857-2599 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or at the Alumni Hall box office, which will open a half-hour before each evening's performance.

Additional information: WMC theater department, 857-2599, or, from Baltimore, 876-2055, Ext. 599.

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