Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: 3-D Theatricals Scores Big with Damn Yankees

Cameron Bond and Alexis Carra. Photos by Isaac James Creative

Baseball, minus the hot dogs and apple pie, is served up hot and fast in 3-D Theatricals’ scintillating revival of this 1950s musical comedy with a Faustian twist by Richard Adler & Jerry Ross. The devil may be up to his old tricks but it’s all in good fun in director Alan Souza’s joyful send-up of our greatest national pastime and the pursuit of the all-American dream.

Dana Solimando takes a page from Bob Fosse for her sizzling choreography executed by a bevy of brawny ball players and one sex kitten named Lola. The boys are terrific in their locker room number “(You Gotta Have) Heart,” which is one of the few songs to earn a reason for its two reprises, and Alexis Carra is a knockout channeling Gwen Verdon in her signature number “Whatever Lola Wants.”

Cameron Bond stars as Joe Hardy, a dead ringer playing the younger version of his middle-aged self, Joe Boyd (Robert Hoyt at the top of the show). Both are extremely likable and sing beautifully, although Hoyt left himself nowhere to go singing full voice from the get-go.

Cynthia Ferrer takes on the role of Meg Boyd, Joe’s long-suffering and ever loyal wife. She is the real heart and soul of the musical and very much Joe’s North Star who eventually leads him home. Ferrer creates wonderful relationships with both versions of her husband and turns in a beautiful performance once again.

For me however the best surprise of the night was Jordan Lamoureux as Applegate, which is a far cry from his last performance as the innocent simpleton Jack in 3DTs recent production of Into the Woods. This time around he is the slippery, slithering, eccentric devil who holds a contract with Joe’s name on it and boy does he make the most of it. Late in the second Act he finally gets to strut his stuff in a Vaudevillian production number straight from the mouth of hell that shows off every bit of his sleazy, oozing charm. Now thats a reprise waiting to happen.

The final score? 3DT knows how to deliver the fun and this one’s a crowd-pleaser from beginning to end. Every bit as delightful today as it was nearly sixty years ago when it first opened on Broadway and cleaned up at the Tony Awards, Damn Yankees is just the ticket you want this summer for a grand good time. Theres not a weak link in the show. Go!

Joe Hart and the cast of Damn Yankees

Jordan Lamoureux

Cynthia Ferrer and the cast of Damn Yankees

Alexis Carra and Jordan Lamoureux

Left: Robert Hoyt.  Right: Chelsea Emma Franko and Joe Hart

Left: Joe Hart and Jordan Lamoureux.  Right: David Kirk Grant

Cameron Bond and Alexis Carra

Nick Waaland and the cast of Damn Yankees

Tamara Zook, Cameron Bond and Karla Franco

3-D Theatricals

July 11 - 27, 2014 at Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton
August 2 - 10, 2014 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
Tickets: http://3dtshows.com/productions/damn-yankees/

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