(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Johnny Baseball, a quintessentially American musical that unearths the source of the Curse of the Red Sox and the secret to its triumphant end off Big Papi’s bat in 2004, will be presented on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival from Wednesday, July 24, 2013, through Saturday, August 3. Packed with resonant social history, Johnny Baseball features a book by Richard Dresser (Rounding Third) with music and lyrics by brothers Robert and Willie Reale (WTF’s Quark Victory), who both received Tony Award nominations for their collaboration on the musical A Year with Frog and Toad.
Dresser, a long-suffering Red Sox fan, teamed up with the Reale brothers, both die-hard Yankee fans, following the 2003 playoffs that left the Sox once again defeated, to re-examine the legendary curse in a new light. The infamous Curse is brought to life through the fortunes of three orphaned souls: Johnny O’Brien, a hard-luck right-hander on the 1919 Sox played by star of stage and screen James Snyder (Rock of Ages, She’s The Man); his idol, Babe Ruth, played by Obie Award-winner Tom McGowan (WTF’s A Flea in Her Ear, “Frasier”); and Daisy Wyatt, a dazzling African-American blues singer who just so happens to also be the love of Johnny’s life. Daisy is played by Obie award-winning actress De’Adre Aziza, who wowed audiences in Passing Strange and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
“Johnny Baseball is a musical that celebrates America’s favorite pastime, while simultaneously delving into the social injustices surrounding the sport at that time. Most of all, it’s a love letter – to the game, to the fans – and the incredible score will win over baseball and theatre fans alike,” said WTF artistic director Jenny Gersten. “What better place to put on this special show than in our corner of Red Sox Nation.”
The new production is directed by Gordon Greenberg (Working, Band Geeks!). The cast features WTF veteran Brooks Ashmanskas (WTF’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Producers, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me) as Fan 2, Joe Cassidy (Catch Me If You Can, “Law & Order”) as Fan 4, Derrick Baskin (MEMPHIS) as Fan 11, Allan H. Green (Sister Act, “30 Rock”) as Fan 10, and Roger Robinson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone) as Fan 9, Kelly Karbacz as Fan 7, Andrew Kober as Fan 3, and Rebecca LaChance as Fan 6. Rounding out the cast are members of the WTF Non-Equity Company Kyle Cameron as Fan 8 and Molliann McCulley as Fan 5.