Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bronx Bombers

Major League Baseball and The New York Yankees are actually a part of ("in association with") the new Eric Simonson written and directed two act play, Bronx Bombers.  Yes, it's baseball on Broadway.   And what an iconic team to highlight right here in New York.  Interestingly enough, the last sports show in the round at Circle in the Square was Lombardi.  This one, a recent transfer from The Duke on 42nd also plays well in the round.

The show, as you would imagine, is a baseball lovers delight.  Likely geared to engage the male persuasion, the show takes a look at the greats of the team - combining them all in a quaint dream-like plot.  Act I is a scene from 1977 setting up the conflicts and personalities of Billy Martin (Keith Nobbs), Reggie Jackson (Francois Battiste), Thurman Munson (Bill Dawes), and the ever-caring and genuine star of the show, Yogi Berra (Peter Scolari).

What unfolds is conflict - and what follows in Act II is a dream like sequence of Yogi's that brings all the Yankee greats to a dinner party in his home with his wife Carmen (Tracy Shayne) - Joe DiMaggio, (Chris Henry Coffey), Lou Gehrig (John Wernke), Babe Ruth (C.J. Wilson), Derek Jeter (Christopher Jackson),  Elston Howard (Francois Battiste), and Micky Mantle (Bill Dawes).

What we learn in Act II is that the conflict in Act I was not new at all.  Baseball has always been full of characters, conflicts, and personalities.  And we also gather that fans may wax and wane, but they always come back- especially to this iconic New York team.

I'm not a baseball fan.  I admit it.  The baseball angle didn't jazz me up at all. (I thought it was boring, actually).  But what the show was able to do, even to me, is to tell a story and teach a lesson.  Through all the characters, all the conflicts, and all the noise - there really is one thing that draws men of all ages to the Yankees - and that is tradition above all else.

Will this play hit the mark - being on Broadway now?  I'm not sure, but the tiny audience that watched the show with me seemed to enjoy it.  Especially all those Yogi-isms!  Let's see if wives drag their die-hard husband fans or if they even come on their own!