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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1956 - Tony Awards - Damn Yankees
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1956!
In 1956, Damn Yankees won the coveted Tony Award for Best Musical. The show opened at the 46th Street Theatre on May 5, 1955, and ran for a show-stopping 1,019 performances before retiring.

Despite the failures of other baseball-based productions, Damn Yankees became a smash hit, and was ultimately made into a movie of the same name in 1958.

The original play skyrocketed Gwen Verdon, the devil's seductive assistant, to stardom.

Damn Yankees - original cast album
The Story:

    Inspired by Douglass Wallop's play, The Day the Yankees Lost the Pennant, the show follows the life of a middle-aged baseball fan, Joe Boyd, as he makes a pact with the devil to become a 22-year old star player for the Washington Senators in their rousing defeat of the Yankees. The devil, of course, expects something in return and uses his sexy cohort, played by Gwen Verdon, to attempt to get it.

The Music and Lyrics:

    Music and lyrics by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler

The Producers:

    Frederick Brisson, Robert Griffith, and Harold Prince

The Directors:

    George Abbott

The Choreographers:

    Bob Fossee

The Opening:

    May 5, 1955, at the 46th Street Theatre

The Cast:

  • Gwen Verdon
  • Stephen Douglass
  • Ray Walston
  • Russ Brown
  • Shannon Bolin
  • Rae Allen
  • Jean Stapleton
  • Nathaniel Frey
  • Robert Shafer

The Songs:

  • Six Months Out of Every Year
  • Goodbye, Old Girl
  • Where You Going Now
  • Blooper Ballet
  • Heart
  • Shoeless Joe
  • A Little Brains, A Little Talent
  • A Man Doesn't Know
  • Whatever Lola Wants
  • Who's Got the Pain When They Do the Mambo
  • The Game
  • Near to You
  • The Good Old Days
  • Two Lost Souls
  • A Man Doesn't Know

The Other Awards:

  • Tony awards for:
    • Best musical
    • Best leading actor in a musical - Ray Walston
    • Best leading actress in a musical - Gwen Verdon
    • Best featured actor in a musical - Russ Brown
    • Best script for a musical - George Abbott and Douglass Wallop
    • Best producers for a musical - Frederick Brisson, Robert Griffith, Harold S. Prince, and Albert B. Taylor
    • Best composition and lyrics - Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
    • Best conductor and musical director - Hal Hastings
    • Best choreography - Bob Fossee
    • Best staging - Harry Green (electrical and sound)
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