Those “Damn Yankees”

Step into the Fireman Performing Arts Center in Hoyt Hall these days, knowing that the Winter Musical is coming soon, and you will realize that the Tabor Academy Drama Department still is swinging for the fences.

Tabor Academy’s Winter Musical returns with a stunning version of “Damn Yankees,” a musical that combines America’s game with the meaning of love.

Overall, preparation for the musical has been smooth yet shaky at the same time. While cast chemistry has flourished throughout the season, the January flu virus and the February blizzard has caused over a week of practice cancellations.

But Chapman Hyatt, ’13, who plays Applegate in “Damn Yankees,” has been impressed with how far the cast has come together.

“Overall, I think the musical has gone very well,” he said. “Despite the many distractions that have delayed us, I think we are right on track with the performances.”

David Horne, the Tabor vocal director, credits the early success.

“We had a really good start early in the season with both lines and songs, so even the flu and blizzard couldn’t stall us,” he said.

The musical is set in Boston, not Washington D.C., like the original version, to represent New England’s prized local baseball team, the Boston Red Sox.

One of the hapless fans, Joe Boyd, who is played by Joe Coffey, ’13, finds a mysterious, devilish man in his house by the name of Applegate. Applegate gives Joe the opportunity to become the man who helps Boston win the AL Pennant and, most importantly, defeat the dominant New York Yankees. Joe takes the offer with an escape clause and becomes Joe Hardy, who is played by Oliver Palmer, ’13.

At first, Hardy is thrilled with the fame, as well as the joy of finally winning, but the hounding of reporters and Applegate’s hatred of love starts to take its toll on Joe. He greatly desires the support of his wife, Meg, played by Claire Chatinover, ’13.

To make things even worse, Applegate tries to tear apart Joe’s marriage by hiring Lola, played by Clare Knowlton, ’13, to take Joe’s mind off of Meg.

The musical combines baseball, one of the biggest impacts on American society, with the difficult challenges of responsibility, love, trust, and an ample amount of temptation.

“This show should be a hit because baseball is America’s game,” Director John Heavey said. “It has the uncanny ability of uniting people. However, the show also shows that heroes are possible, and Joe’s actions prove that.”

“This musical combines the biggest themes in life into one show,” Mr. Horne added. “It gives a true definition of love and what is in the soul.”

The show will be performing at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 21 through 23. Ticket prices are $9 dollars in advance and $10 at the front desk.

Want to be entertained with a little bit of baseball, but can’t wait until Opening Day at Fenway on April 1? Whether this is the case or not, the Tabor edition of “Damn Yankees” is a classic spectacular that is a must-see for even the casual fan. We hope to see you there!

By Nicholas Veronesi

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