Friday, October 11, 2013

Now Batting, Number 2, Derek Jeter...On Broadway

"Hey Mo, lets put on a show!"

The New York Yankees have been part of the Broadway scene before as the villainous, never lose team in "Damn Yankees". For those that don't know, it's the tale of Joe Hardy, a big fan of the Washington Senators that makes a deal with the devil. The show was a huge success and a movie version followed.

Now the Great White Way has a mix of old and modern day Yankees in the play, "Bronx Bombers". The play is written by Eric Simonson, who also brought (Vince) "Lombardi" and "Magic/Bird" (Magic Johnson/Larry Bird) to the stage.

Act I revolves the infamous 1977 contest between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. Yes, it is the game that Billy Martin pulled Reggie Jackson out of right field in the middle of inning. It was a national embarrassment as Martin and Jackson and their enormous egos nearly came to blows. Joining them in the stage version are actors portraying Yogti Berra and Elston Howard, who kept the two combatants apart in the dugout, and team captain Thurman Munson

The second act builds off of the first with Yogi stressed about the possibility of becoming the Yankees manager. He dreams of having dinner with his wife and Yankees Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Howard, and Derek Jeter, despite the fact the Yankees shortstop was three at the time and not a twinkle in the eye of a Yankees scout.

The play wraps up with the last game played in old Yankee Stadium. It sounds odd to say the least, and New York Times reviewer Daniel M. Gold described it as a "mawkish and sappy effort", and "...the play is no more than a schmaltzy sketch of athletes sitting around congratulating themselves."1

I think I'll stick to watch the real drama that occurs every day with the Bronx Bombers. 

1 - NY Times, Oct. 9, 2013

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