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Paul VI High School Damn Yankees

By • Nov 24th, 2008 • Category: Cappies

O Baseball. It’s America’s favorite pastime and for its most loyal of fans, six months out of every year are full of nail biting intensity and severe stress. But just how far would you go to ensure the success of your favorite team? For the cast and crew of Paul VI’s production of Damn Yankees, the answer was pretty extreme.

With a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, Damn Yankees originally opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre on May 5, 1955. The show is a musical comedy set during the 1950’s, a time when the New York Yankees were virtually unstoppable in Major League Baseball. Upset that his favorite team, the Washington Senators, cannot outplay the relentless Yankees, Joe Boyd makes a deal with the Devil in order to transform into a great baseball player and save his favorite team. After accepting the offer, Joe Boyd transforms into the young, talented, Joe Hardy and leaves his wife, Meg, in order to play for the team. Despite the success he enjoys, Joe soon realizes that he misses his wife, and life as a baseball superstar may not be everything he wanted.

Leading the cast as the satanic Mr. Applegate was Jason Donahoe. Donahoe’s smooth, commanding voice, arrogant charm and comedic timing made his devilish side quite believable. Acting opposite Donahoe as Lola, the Devil’s seductive assistant, was Dana Lindblad. Lindblad’s vocal performance was strong, especially in songs such as “A Little Brains, A Little Talent” and “Whatever Lola Wants.” Donahoe and Lindblad played nicely off each other in several scenes, managing to make evil comical.

Several members of the supporting cast and ensemble also offered strong performances. Alexandra Dent, who played the nosy reporter Gloria Thorpe, brought the stage to life during her song “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo.” Patrick McDonald also showed good commitment and character development as Joe Hardy, making songs such as “A Man Doesn’t Know” and “Two Lost Souls” quite memorable. While a few musical numbers lacked energy and commitment, others, especially those performed by the Washington Senators such as “Heart” and “The Game,” were lively and entertaining.

Paul VI struggled with a few technical aspects such as some long and frequent scene changes. Kasey Moore, Theresa Reynolds, and Liz Donahue‘s props and effects were impressive and included a bright flash as Mr. Applegate lit his cigarette. Many of the props were simple, yet effective on the already crowded stage.

Paul VI did a good job with this lengthy show, producing a lighthearted musical with many memorable moments.

by Samantha Henry of Westfield High School

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