How much is a soul worth? Would you sell your soul for something as petty as a winning season? Joe Boyd’s decision to do just that sets the stage for Paul VI High School’s recent production of "Damn Yankees."
Based on Douglass Wallop’s novel, "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant," the musical "Damn Yankees" follows Joe Boyd, a diehard Senators fan, and his loving wife, Meg Boyd. Joe and Meg live a quiet, cozy existence, but when Mr. Applegate, better known as Lucifer, makes Joe Boyd an offer he can’t turn down, Joe leaves it all behind to become Joe Hardy, the younger and stronger star of the Washington Senators.
With music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and the book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, "Damn Yankees" was a home run when it first premiered on Broadway in 1955. Winning seven Tony awards including Best Play, the Broadway sensation has since then made its way to London, television, and the silver screen.
A large ensemble brought the show to life with their constant commitment and high energy. Jason Donahoe gave one hell of a performance as Mr. Applegate. Combining charm, swagger, and the occasional accent, Donahoe’s performance was one of the highlights of the evening. Dana Lindblad, as the sexy temptress, Lola, had consistently strong vocals. Together, Donahoe and Lindblad played off each other and were able to produce a sinfully enjoyable performance.
Alexandra Dent commanded the stage as the prying reporter, Gloria Thorpe. With a sharp glare or a slight scoff, her intentions were always crystal clear. Adam Laub, as Linville, stood out among the ballplayers. His commitment to his character and the humor he brought to the show was never unappreciated.
Sound, operated by Dan Browne and Adam Laub, was flawless throughout the entire show, with no noticeable glitches or missed cues. The effects team produced many memorable moments, including the transformation scene where a strobe light encased the entire stage as Joe Boyd became Joe Hardy. A pyrotechnics trick made Donahoe’s Applegate all the more enjoyable, as from time to time fire shot from his fingertips.
Paul VI High School’s production of "Damn Yankees" was filled to the brim with brains, talent and lots of "heart."