Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Damn Yankees | The Production Company
Written by Vito Mattarelli   
Thursday, 21 August 2008 22:43
Damn Yankees | The Production CompanyLeft - Pia Morley & David Harris. Cover - Matt Hetherington & Pia Morley

Anyone who has seen The Pajama Game, will know what a fun, bright Broadway musical that show is. Damn Yankees was a successful follow-up for that show’s original creators Richard Adler and Jerry Ross.

Written and set in a 50s America, the original creative team, including Bob Fosse brought to life this simple story about a nation’s fixation on baseball.

Avid middle-aged fan Joe Boyd (David Whitney) grabs an opportunity to save his struggling team the Washington Senators by making a pact with the devil, Mr Applegate (fiendishly played by Matt Hetherington). In return for his soul, he is transformed into a young star player called Joe Hardy (David Harris) and is able to turn around the future of the team and become a national hero.

Unfortunately sacrifices have to be made and Joe has had to leave behind his life and his wife of over 20 years Meg (Anne Wood). Needless to say, he soon realises that what he had was far more fulfilling, and seeks a way to return to his old life.

Like The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees is a show that churns out memorable musical numbers and holds up extremely well for audiences (the original Australian production celebrated its 50th anniversary this year).

One of its many strengths is the decision to give showcase musical numbers to its many principal performers, not just the three main leads.

Six Months Out of Every Year is a terrific opener that sets the tone of the show. Heart is one of the more famous tunes and is well delivered by Matt Heyward and the male ensemble. Melissa Langton gets to shine with Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo, while The Game proves to be another showcase for the male ensemble.

All performers give terrific performances and lend great support to the three main leads.

David Harris is perfect as the young star player who longs to be back home, and is especially touching with Goodbye, Old Girl and Near to You.

Matt Hetherington proves yet again that he is a natural comic actor and not restricted to playing romantic leads. His rendition of The Good Old Days is especially memorable.

Pia Morley as Mr Applegate’s sexy accomplice Lola steps into her first leading lady role with great aplomb, and delivers the show’s most famous tune Whatever Lola Wants oozing confidence and sensuality. This is definitely a rising star making her mark.

The creative team headed by director Terence O’Connell bring the show to life with the effective design allowing the action to take place centre stage and the orchestra seated above.

The minimal faults lie within the show itself. While the dance numbers are very effective for the male ensemble (mainly revolving around baseball moves and a team atmosphere). The women unfortunately get lacklustre opportunities, but still make the most of them.

The ending, when it comes, is also a surprise. Not for any revelation (there were only happy endings in the 50s) but because it is so sudden and almost under-written.

Damn Yankees however, remains an entertaining toe-tapping show that is well worth seeing and almost worth a full-scale revival.


The Production Company presents
Damn Yankees
Words and Music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
Book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop


Venue: State Theatre
Dates: 20 – 24 August 2008
Times: Wednesday – Saturday at 7.30 pm;
Matinees: Saturday at 2.00 pm; Sunday at 3.00 pm
Tickets: $38 - $79
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 136 166
Visit: theproductioncompany.com.au
Pin It

Comments (2)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
...
0
Steal a ticket if you have to... This show is a MUST see !! Fantastic !!
Chris , August 23, 2008
...
0
Saw the 7.30pm show Sat night in Melbourne.. have always wondered if the Production Company tour or it's just lucky Melbourne who gets these.

Wow what a cast and so many strong individual performances. Dave Harris what a great voice, Melissa Langton fabulous. At the curtain call probably Matt Hetherington got the most applause. But I do confess it was Pia Morley that drew me to this show.. who could resist the image of her outfit! And her Lola was just perfect.
John , August 24, 2008

Write comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy
 
PozibleAustralian Stage JobsMembers Area
 

Most Read MELBOURNE Reviews

A-K | Sam Simmons
When Sam Simmons arrives on stage trilling like a choir boy wearing a ruffle he’s stolen from a drag queen, you might assum...
Pixar in Concert | Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Oh my! Be still my exuberant heart.
It's Got To Be Perfect | Anna Morris
It’s not every day you get invited to a wedding. Even stranger is when you know neither: the Bride, Groom nor any other gue...
Raw Comedy National Grand Final 2017
Former tightrope walker Zack Dyer has won the national open mic comedy competition, Raw Comedy 2017 – and a spot at the Edi...
Man vs Meth | Simon Hughes
Addiction is no laughing matter, but we all know that people in the throes of addiction can do some pretty funny things. It...