Earlier this week, my friend Cindy and I went to see the latest incarnation of Damn Yankees, a musical that first debuted on the stage back in 1955. This revival more than lived up to the show's long and storied history, delivering a Tony Award-worthy good time from start to finish.
The tale of Shoeless Joe Hardy, a fictional baseball fan who makes a deal with the devil to help his favorite team beat New York's Bronx Bombers, Damn Yankees sparkles with snappy dialogue and such beloved Adler & Ross showtune classics as "(You Gotta Have) Heart" and "Whatever Lola Wants." The show's three stars shine with home-run performances that had all of us in the audience cheering and laughing right through to the last curtain call.
Hunky Cheyenne Jackson, on a break from his role as lovable lunkhead Sonny Malone in Xanadu, brings a soulful sweetness to Shoeless Joe, capturing Joe's longing for the wife he's separated from. Jane Krakowski is at her bombshell best as Lola, the seductress who has her sights set on Joe. Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace" steals the show as Applegate. His pitch-perfect delivery and charisma create a devil you can't help falling in love with.
Like a slugger sliding toward home plate, the 2.5 hour running time of Damn Yankees races by, thanks to the show's talented cast. By the time they took their final bow, my cheeks were almost sore from smiling so much.
Damn Yankees' three-week run wraps up on July 27th. If you're looking for a night at the theater that will leave you with a perma-grin, this is the ticket.
Up next, a review of Mamma Mia the movie and a cousin's first date disaster with a secret service agent.