Damn Yankees (London)
Essentially a transfer of the Broadway touring production, DAMN YANKEES with a book by George Abbott & Douglass Wallop and Music & Lyrics by Richard Adler & Jerry Ross opened in London at the Adelphi Theatre previewing from 29 May 1997, opened on 4 June 1997 and closed on 9 August 1997. Based on the novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant” by Douglass Wallop with book revisions by Jack O’Brien.
Produced by Mitchell Maxwell, Victoria Maxwell, Mike Skipper, Fred H. Krones, Alan Schuster, Jeffrey A. Sine and Frank & Woji Gero; Associate Producer: Robert Barandes, Nancy Eichorn, Claudia Gross, Lesley Mazzotta and James L. Simon. Originally produced by Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, California.
Directed by Jack O’Brien; Choreographed by Rob Marshall; Original Choreography Recreated by Joey Pizzi; Scenic Design by Douglas W. Schmidt; Costume Design by David C. Woolard; Lighting Design by David F. Segal; Sound Design by Jonathan Deans; Hair & Make-Up Design by J. Roy Helland; Special Effects Design by Gregory Meeh; Music orchestrated by Douglas Besterman; Dance arrangements by Tom Fay; Additional dance arrangements by David Krane and Musical Continuity and Vocal Arrangements by James Raitt.
Starring Jerry Lewis (Applegate), April Nixon (Lola), John-Michael Flate (Joe Hardy), Dennis Kelly (Joe Boyd), Louis D. Giovannetti (Voice of the Narrator), Joy Franz (Meg Boyd), Julie Prosser (Sister), Steven Seale (Rocky / Lo-Tones), Mark Chmiel (Smokey), Eric Leviton (Sohovik), Nigel Harman (Mickey / Lo-Tones), Shaun Henson (Vernon), Michael Duran (Del / Ad Executive), Ned Hannah (Ozzie / Stadium PA Announcer / Lo-Tones), Bill Brassea (Bubba), Christopher Windom (Henry), Richie Mastascusa (Bomber), Jamie Ross (Van Buren), Ellen Grosso (Gloria Thorpe), Susan Taylor (Betty / Hi-Tones), Vickie Taylor (Donna / Hi-Tones), Karen Babcock (Kitty / Hi-Tones), Julie Janney (Lulu / Photographer), Amelia Prentice (Rita), Scott Robertson (Welch), Mel Allen (Stadium Voice) and Mark Chmiel (Voice of TV Sportcaster).
At certain performances, Susan Taylor performed the role of LOLA.
Swings: Susan Haefner, Rod McClune and Robert Lambert
Musical Director: Gareth Valentine; Assistant Director: Will Roberson; Assistant Choreographer: Kathleen Marshall; General Management by Jane Salberg & Ian Stephenson; Production Stage Manager: James Mountcastle; Casting by Jay Binder; Online Marketing by Toby Simkin / BuyBroadway Online Inc.
Orchestra includes Robert Hirschborn (Conductor); Teddy Farrow (Associate MD / Keyboard #1); Steven Bartosik (Drummer); Robert Bray (Keyboard #2); Steven Eidem (Trumpet) and William Meade (Musical Coordinator).
I negotiated and developed the first-ever live broadcast video streaming from a West End opening night, including post show interviews with Jerry Lewis as well as other internet marketing initiatives for the London West End production at the Adelphi Theatre.
As Founder and CEO of Theatre.com and BuyBroadway.com. The pioneer in moving the Broadway industry onto the internet. The theatre press branded me as “Toby is the man pushing theatre, kicking and screaming, into cyberspace.” What started in 1989 as a Broadway industry service called ShowCall via dialup BBS for members of the League of American Theatre Producers evolved onto the world wide web in the early 90’s, and shortly after this, the vast majority of Broadway shows (starting with my production of Victor/Victoria) and theatrical organizations followed. The “Super site of Broadway” became a publicly traded company, prior to my re-branding it as Theatre.com at the Minskoff Theatre.
Described by Variety Magazine as a “marketing powerhouse“, it was the single largest theatre community in the world with over 180,000 active members (in the 1990’s this was massive). From buying official Broadway tickets and souvenirs, providing detailed global show listings, interactive show study & educational guides, live streaming shows and events (including many Opening Nights live broadcasts), industry news from major theatre journalists, pictures and videos, games, messaging directly to Broadway cast’s backstage or even licensing a musical, theatre.com offered it all in a single, easy-to-use interface to theatregoers globally.
Middle aged fan Joe Boyd, of the Washington Senators baseball team is approached by the devil who tells him he can be returned to a twenty year old and be given the skills to become the best baseball player the world has ever known . This way he will be able to play for the Senators and finally beat the New York Yankees and win the pennant. However, there is a price to pay! He would have to give up his past life for good and give his soul to the devil . However, Joe refuses to sign the contract until the devil agrees to an escape clause. The clause, being that on a specific date and time he can choose to return to his former life or go with the devil . Reluctantly the devil agrees and finds he has to produce many temptations and tricks to prevent Joe choosing his former life when the deadline date arrives.
This production was due to play a limited 4 month season at the Adelphi before an expected transfer to the Savoy Theatre from October 16, 1997 or moving to the Victoria Palace for an open ended run as advertised to commence on September 25, 1997 was canceled. Damn Yankees closed at the Adelphi 5 weeks early. A rumored Bruce Forsyth as Applegate, along with John Barrowman as Joe Hardy and Nicola Hughes as Lola had been cast for the London transfer, along with a full company who turned up to rehearsal day #1 in Clapham to find it all cancelled. As a result, British Actors Equity censured co-producers Frank and Woji Gero, and the affected company received a tiny portion of salary owing in settlement.