Summerset plays ball

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Would you trade your soul for a chance to lead your favorite team to victory?

Joe Boyd takes the devil up on that offer in Summerset Theatre’s first production of the season, “Damn Yankees.”

A cast of 40 students and residents from the surrounding area make up this 1950s musical comedy, which debuts Sunday at Riverland Community College.

Email newsletter signup

In the play, Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) fan Joe Boyd makes a deal with the devil, Mr. Applegate: Trade his soul, and become the player — his alter ego, Joe Hardy — that can help his team beat “those damn Yankees.”

“He becomes this big huge hero,” director Jerry Girton said. “All kinds of problems develop.

“Lots of good, big songs, lots of fun and a good story about baseball,” he said.

The cast includes Eric Morlan as Joe Hardy; Gordy Handeland as Joe Boyd; James Douglass as Mr. Applegate; Kaye Perry as Lola, the devil’s assistant; Alice Holst as Meg, Joe’s wife; and Lucas Johnson as the coach.

“Damn Yankees” has had several successful runs on Broadway and was a 1958 film. The story, a retelling of a Faust legend, is based on Douglass Wallop’s novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant.”

The play debuts at 7 p.m. Sunday at Frank W. Bridges Theatre in the East Building of Riverland Community College.

There will be additional performances at 7:30 p.m. June 15-20. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for children under age 16; they are available at Coffee House on Main and the Riverland Box Office, 433-0595.

Upcoming Summerset productions include the murder mystery “And Then There Were None,” to debut July 8, and the comedy “Nunsense Jamboree,” which starts July 21.