Would you make a deal with the devil in order to live out a lifelong dream? Pretty deep question. Would you be willing to magically walk into a life you’ve only imagined but wholly at the expense of the life and love that you currently know? Even deeper question. In Damn Yankees, a diehard baseball fan, Joe Boyd (Michael Rafferty), sells his soul to the illustrious devil named Applegate (Robert Cross) in an attempt to help his favorite team the Washington Senators win the pennant.
This comedic musical set in the 1950s shines light on an era where baseball was America’s favorite pastime and the topic of conversation six months out of every year. Joe’s love for the game kept him glued to the television and often damning the Yankees every time they beat the Senators. The Senators were terrible and had a long losing streak, but through an ever-so-swift exchange with Applegate, Joe is morphed into the young baseball phenom Joe Hardy (Justin Dam) who quickly becomes the town hero for saving the team from their abysmal season. Being in the limelight soon takes a turn for the worse for young Joe Hardy and after some time, Hardy quickly becomes homesick and relies on an escape clause in the deal he entered into with Applegate to bring him back to his wife.
Director Ron Watson did a fantastic job at putting together a solid cast that was able to bring the words of the script to life. The tempo and mood throughout the play stayed upbeat and never dulled and Jesee Smart’s choreography was fantastic, fun and light. Wardrobing for each character and the set designers did a fantastic job at encompassing the time at which the play took place and easily enabled the audience to enter into that era.
The entire cast gave solid performances, but the stand out cast members include Justin Dam in the role of Joe Hardy, Samantha Watson in the role of Meg Boyd, and Robert Cross in the role of Applegate. One of the most memorable and emotional scenes occurred during the musical number “Near To You” performed by Joe H., Joe B., and Meg B. The Palace’s sold out audience laughed, giggled, and emphatically cheered throughout the duration of the comedic musical. All in all, I give The Georgetown Palace Theatre’s production of Damn Yankees 5 out of 5 stars. Bravo!