Damn Yankees is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust in seven innings. There are few archetypes that don't show up in some way in contemporary culture, and a man who sells his soul to the devil for happiness is no exception. (Anyone remember Bedazzled with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley?)
The seven-time Tony Award-winning musical is based on Douglass Wallop's book, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, written in 1954 and remade with the help of co-author George Abbott. As a musical comedy, the show has had a run of more than 1,000 performances since 1955. It will add another to the scoreboard when it comes to the Morrison Center as part of Fred Meyer's Broadway in Boise series Tuesday, March 13-Thursday, March 15.
In a city without a Major League baseball team, members of the audience will still appreciate themes of folly and ambition, pursuit of passion, temptation and regret. Damn Yankees' soul barterer Joe Boyd is tangled between two women and is a real estate agent. Because he knows contracts, Boyd finds a loophole in his pact with the devil. That's hardly a spoiler though--this musical has more curve balls than even the most-famous Major League pitchers.
Though the Morrison Center won't have peanuts or Cracker Jacks for sale, Damn Yankees packs in 15 musical numbers from acclaimed lyricists Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, so the audience will be too busy singing along to miss traditional stadium snacks.
"Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets" may never make a baseball fan reconsider the merits of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," but both songs reveal a love so strong, not even an extra inning could break the tie.