Entertainment

Sacramento musical hits a home run

By August 03, 2017

The 67th Music Circus season continues with “Damn Yankees,” one of the most enduring Broadway musicals, featuring a score by legendary composers Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and a cast that includes a number of veterans of New York City’s Broadway stages.

This will be the seventh time the popular Faustian themed baseball musical has been produced at Music Circus and just its second appearance in the Wells Fargo Pavilion; previous Music Circus productions were in 1957, 1959, 1978, 1985, 1997 and 2003.

“Damn Yankees” is a musical comedy in which mega-fan Joe Boyd trades his soul to lead his beloved Washington Senators to victory over the New York Yankees. Watch Joe Boyd transform into the Senators’ star player Joe Hardy and eventually realize the true worth of the life he left behind. It’s a devilishly clever, multi Tony Award-winning Best Musical that any baseball fan will appreciate; popular favorite songs include “Heart” and the iconic “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.”

Appearing in the role of Mr. Applegate in “Damn Yankees” is Jason Graae, who played the Cat in the Hat in last summer’s Music Circus production of “Seussical.” Playing the vixen Lola is Lindsay Roginski, who returns to Music Circus after appearing as Roxie Hart in “Chicago,” a role she has played on Broadway and on tour. In the role of Meg Boyd is Lynne Wintersteller, who was last summer’s Dolly Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” was an original Broadway cast member of “A Grand Night for Singing” and has extensive regional, touring and off-Broadway credits.

Zach Trimmer, making his Music Circus debut as Joe Hardy, toured with “Avenue Q” and “Hairspray.” Veteran Broadway actor Stephen Berger, whose Broadway experience includes roles in “Kinky Boots,” “The Pajama Game,” “Into the Woods,” “The Dinner Party,” “True West,” “Laughter on 23rd Street” and “Little Me,” joins the cast as Van Buren. The role of Gloria Thorpe will be played by Danette Holden, whose Broadway credits include the revival of “Annie,” in which she also toured, “Shrek the Musical” and “Laughing Room Only.”

Playing Welch is Music Circus favorite Ron Wisniski, whose wide-ranging work here includes last season’s “Cabaret” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” Justin Keyes, playing Smokey, performed in the national tours of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Mary Poppins.” Making his Music Circus debut as Rocky, Dallas Padoven most recently appeared as Diesel in Media Theatre’s production of “West Side Story” and has performed in numerous New York and regional productions.

Playing the role of Joe Boyd is Jeff Howell, who has performed in more than 80 productions at Pittsburgh CLO. Sister will be played by Mary Jo Mecca who, in addition to numerous film and television appearances, has performed in regional theatre productions across the country and Music Circus productions. Returning for her 10th Music Circus season to play Doris is Kim Arnett, who has appeared on Broadway in “Peter Pan” and toured nationally with “Mamma Mia!” and “Peter Pan.”

The cast for “Damn Yankees” also includes the following ensemble members: Lindsey Bracco, Doug Carfrae, Meghan Faddis, Devon Hadsell, Rashaan James II, Eric Anthony Johnson, Justin Keats, Joe Komara, Adam Lendermon, Dennis O’Bannion, Cooper Taggard, Connor Wince and Jessica Wockenfuss.

“Damn Yankees” will be directed by Charles Repole, who returns to Music Circus after directing “Nice Work If You Can Get It” last summer and “42nd Street” in 2010; his experience includes work on Broadway and off-Broadway for the prestigious City Center Encores! Series, Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Kennedy Center concert series and as an accomplished on-stage performer, where he appeared before Broadway and off-Broadway audiences.

Choreographer is Michael Lichtefeld, who also returns to Music Circus after choreographing “Nice Work If You Can Get It” last summer and “42nd Street” in 2010; his choreographic work includes six Broadway musicals, seven off-Broadway musicals and nine national/international tours.

Musical Director Craig Barna has worked on a number of Music Circus productions including “Hello, Dolly!” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It” in the 2016 season, and has conducted several national tours. He is a prolific composer and arranger whose recordings for Jay Records are available worldwide.

Tickets for “Damn Yankees” start at $45 and are available by phone at (916) 557-1999, online at tickets.com, or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion box office, 1419 H St. in Sacramento. Evening performances are Tuesday through Saturday, Aug. 8-12, at 7:30 p.m.; matinee performances are Thursday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 12, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 13, at 3 p.m. For more information visit SacramentoMusicCircus.com.

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