The 2016 Musical Announced!

2016 Sun Valley High School Production Damn YankeesAfter the smashing success of Sun Valley High School’s production of The Music Man featuring outstanding performers from both the middle and high schools, Director Liz Hazlett has an even better sense of the young people moving up to grade 9 through 12.

With the loss of seniors like Michael Mann and Lauren Longhi, the choice to follow up the multi-Cappie nominated and award winning production of The Music Man is one driven by the wealth of talent left behind.

“I’ve been fortunate to have directed all of the young people from middle-school through high-school now, so I know the depth of talent and commitment at my disposal,” observes Liz.  “I wanted to choose a show that once again showcases all that I have.”

With an unusually strong crop of male voices combined with a group of triple-threat females who sing and dance and act in productions beyond the school stage, Liz’s choice is a unique one.

Damn Yankees, a baseball tale set in 1950’s Washington, DC is the modern retelling of the Faust legend where the protagonist makes a pact with the devil exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.  In this case an average “Joe” decides to leave his wife and sell his soul to be the answer to The Washington Senators losing ways.  The exchange:  his soul for a chance to win the pennant against the dominating New York Yankees.

Littered with strong characters like Lola, the Devil’s assistant, Meg the long-suffering wife, Gloria the probing reporter, Van Buren, The Senators’ loyal manager, Joe, the hopeless Senators fan, and Mr. Applegate, the devil himself, Damn Yankees serves up multiple songs and scenes for the most passionate performers.

With other plumb roles and a rich ensemble cast, Damn Yankees also offers opportunities for every level of performer to grow and experience musical theater at its best.

The musical comedy by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop (choreographed by the legendary Bob Fosse) opened on Broadway in 1955 enjoying 1,019 performances.  It was eventually made into a Warner Brother’s film renamed What Lola Wants featuring dancer and actress Gwen Verdon as Lola.   Later revivals featured performers like Vincent Price, Jerry Lewis, and Sean Hayes as Mr. Applegate.  The 1994 revival won several Tony and Drama Desk awards as well as two Theater World Awards.

Sun Valley hopes to do justice to this successful production.  Slated to run the weekend of March 10, the passionate team that produced The Music Man once again returns to Sun Valley  and includes choreographer Jaquetta Colson, Music Director Suzanne Calise, and a fantastic live orchestra.

Liz Hazlett is excited to begin promoting the show now to help interested performers prepare for auditions slated for December.   In addition to auditions, Liz plans a cabaret-style fundraising concert in October to help defer costs for sets, costuming, and other efforts to raise the quality of the production.

“The support we’ve received from the entire Penn Delco administration and community is a testament to our value of the arts,” says Liz.   “The arts are an integral part of our children’s development whether they play an instrument, sing, act, draw, or simply attend a show or concert.  I look forward to guiding another wonderful group of young people to explore the joy of musical theater next spring.”

Now Play Ball!