On Theater: 'Damn Yankees' a reunion for high school alumni

When "Damn Yankees" takes its first swings at Laguna Beach High School's Artists Theater this weekend, it'll be a homecoming of sorts for a number of musical theater performers who graduated from Laguna Beach High over the past decade.

The Gallimaufry Performing Arts rendition of the musical fantasy will be staged for two weekends and only six performances under the direction of Steve Josephson, artistic director of the Laguna company, and choreographer Andrew Ruesch.

The show imagines what might happen if the Washington Senators (this being the 1950s) actually won the American League pennant over the hated New York Yankees. Angels fans can insert their own fantasies here.

Of course, such an event would be impossible without a little devilish outside assistance. Thus, "Mr. Applegate" appears to offer middle-aged Senators fan Joe Boyd the chance to drop 20 years and 20 pounds and help Washington shed the label "first in war, first in peace and last in the American League."

In the Gallimaufry production, Christian Marriner stars as the rejuvenated Joe Hardy, with Kira Josephson as the seductive Lola (both Laguna Beach High grads) and David Stoneman playing with fire and brimstone as Applegate.

Other featured performers include Karen Rymar, Elooise Coopersmith and Julie Josephson, along with Laguna Beach High alumni Brent Kling, Alex Murrel, Brendan McGrady, Nick Shopoff and Eleanor Knabe.

The score includes some memorable tunes like "Whatever Lola Wants," "Heart," "Shoeless Joe" and "Two Lost Souls."

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Coastline Pilot.

If You Go

What: "Damn Yankees"

When: 8 p.m. Sundays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, July 30 to Aug. 1

Where: Artists Theater, 625 Park Ave.

Cost: $10 to $25 at (949) 499-5060 or http://www.gallimaufry.info/buytickets.html

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