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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Thursday, May 24, 2012

Faust meets big-league baseball as Indiana Festival Theatre opens with 'Damn Yankees'

WHAT: "Damn Yankees," book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross; based on the novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant" by Wallop; directed by George Pinney, with musical direction by Terry LaBolt.
WHEN: Special discounted preview at 7:30 p.m. June 13. Opens at 7:30 p.m. June 14 with additional performances through July 1. For specific dates and times, visit
WHERE: All performances take place at the Ruth N. Halls Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre & Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. No photography or recording of any kind is permitted during performances.
TICKETS: Available at the IU Auditorium Box Office or at Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for any student and those 18 or younger. Vouchers for four tickets available from $48 to $75. Group rates available by calling 812-855-1103 for details.

May 24, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Department of Theatre and Drama launches its second and expanded season of Indiana Festival Theatre on June 13 with the devilish baseball musical, "Damn Yankees."

Damn Yankees

Charnette Batey stars as Lola in "Damn Yankees."

Print-Quality Photo

Among the most beloved musicals of all time, "Damn Yankees" won seven Tony Awards in 1956, including Best Musical. Indiana Festival Theatre's production captures the musical's unique summer spirit on the stage of the Ruth N. Halls Theatre, under the direction of George Pinney and musical director Terry LaBolt and featuring National Society of Arts and Letters runner-up Charnette Batey as Lola.

Joe Boyd, a middle-aged fan of the hapless Washington Senators, trades his soul to the devilishly charming Mr. Applegate for the chance to dethrone the vaunted New York Yankees and lead his team to the pennant. He becomes young baseball phenom Joe Hardy and transforms his Senators into a pennant contender. But at what cost? Hardy leaves Boyd's life in the lurch, and only with the help of the seductress Lola does he have a chance at redemption.

Pulsating with energy and hit songs like "You Gotta Have Heart" and "Whatever Lola Wants," "Damn Yankees" instantly assumed its place as one of the great Broadway musicals. In addition to the seven Tony Awards it won in 1956, the 1994 Broadway revival garnered another five nominations including Best Revival (Musical). George Abbott and Douglass Wallop wrote the book, with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. "Damn Yankees" is based on the novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant" by Wallop.

"As American and joyful as apple pie and the Fourth of July, 'Damn Yankees' is an audience favorite with athletic dancing, catchy music and a theme instilled with 'Play Ball!'" Pinney said.

The cast of "Damn Yankees" includes some of the most accomplished BFA musical theater students in the Department of Theatre and Drama -- a group of young people that last year's audience will remember from "The Music Man" -- and an Indianapolis professional, all working side by side.

Jeffrey Allen and Colin Van Wye take on the role of the dual Joes, Boyd and Hardy, respectively. Batey -- fresh off her second-place finish at the 2012 national musical theater competition of the National Society of Arts and Letters -- sizzles in the role of Lola. Indianapolis professional actor and Actors Theatre of Indiana founder Don Farrell appears as Mr. Applegate.

Joining Pinney and LaBolt in creating the world of "Damn Yankees" are head of scenic design and Indiana Festival Theatre associate producer Fred Duer; costume designer Robbie Stanton (who has a studio already filled with hundreds of costumes for the musical); lighting designer Amanda Wray; and sound designer Colin Shay.

The Indiana Festival Theatre company is joined by 11 interns from the region's high schools including Jacob Bissey, Zeysha Fuentes, Taylor Furman, Alex Goodman, Maria Hallorin, Nell Krahnke, Gwen Livesay, Seavor Roach, Isabelle Russell, Karly Taylor and Matthew Waterman, who will all work in various areas for the Indiana Festival Theatre and backstage for "Damn Yankees."

"Damn Yankees" plays June 13 through July 1 in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre on the corner of Seventh and Jordan Avenue on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University.

For tickets or more information about the show, or for more information about the entire 2012 Indiana Festival Theatre season or the 2012-13 IU Theatre season, visit

The show is a highlight of IU's second annual Summer Festival of the Arts, a 113-day event that features visual arts, music, cinema, dance and theater on the Bloomington campus. The festival was conceived as a way to support the creation of new arts events and showcase the vibrant cultural offerings at IU that help make Bloomington such a popular arts destination throughout the summer.