Cast creates an enjoyable `Yankees'

Review

April 07, 2006|By BILLY JOHNSON | BILLY JOHNSON,LONG REACH HIGH SCHOOL

When a deal with the devil is made, trouble is bound to ensue. That's exactly what happened in Mount Hebron High School's production last week of Damn Yankees. An incredible cast drove this show forward, while numbers like "Six Months Out of Every Year" and "Heart" kept toes tapping in the audience.

A middle-age Washington Senators fan strikes a deal with the devil, so the story goes, to become a great baseball player and help the Senators beat their rivals, the New York Yankees. He faces a choice in the end: Go back to his wife and miss the last game of the season, or help the Senators win and hand his soul to the devil.

The main character was split between two actors. Joe Boyd (Jeffrey Pfeifer) is a man whose passion in life is the Senators, and Joe Hardy (Dan Kennett) is a young, home-run-hitting version of Boyd. They played the character the same way in the songs they sang and in the way they acted. Both have strong voices.

Mr. Applegate is the devil, portrayed by Patrick Gilbert. He is comedic as he insults others and uses snappy diction. Lola (Laura Tschirgi) has sold her soul to the devil and does his bidding. When ordered to seduce Joe Hardy, she sang "Whatever Lola Wants," and her duet with Hardy, "Two Lost Souls," is breathtaking. Meg Boyd (Lauren Huyett), the wife of Joe Boyd, has a few songs in which she displays excellent characterization and tone.

The dance numbers and singing of the cast members portraying the Washington Senators were full of energy and expression. They provided something interesting to watch, be it Rocky (John Duff) dancing wildly or Smokey (Paul Lambert) chasing a rolling baseball across the stage. The two women often seen with Meg are Sister (Ashley Lohmeyer) and Doris (Meghan Forrey). Their timing is precise and their acting believable.

The technical aspects of the show were put together well and enhanced viewers' experience.

Billy Johnson, a junior at Long Reach, reviewed "Damn Yankees" for the Cappies of Baltimore, a program in which students review high school productions under the direction of their teachers and vote on awards for outstanding performances.

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