Batter Up!

WILLSBORO - The World Series may be over, but baseball fever continues as 25 students in grades 6-12 will perform as part of Willsboro Drama Club's production of "Damn Yankees."

"Last year we did 'Carousel,' which was a very dramatic, dark kind of show," said the show's director, Derrick Hopkins, "so this year we wanted to do something very cartoony and fun."

Set in the 1950s, "Damn Yankees" tells the story of Joe Boyd, a frustrated, middle-aged baseball fan who risks selling his soul to the Devil in order to become Joe Hardy, the talented young slugger his team needs to advance in the playoffs. In the process, he gives up his own identity as a devoted husband.

When Joe has second thoughts about leaving his old life behind, along with his wife, the Devil, disguised as a slick salesman named Mr. Applegate, sets a series of ploys in place to prevent Joe from turning back on their bargain. Hilarity ensues as Joe must ultimately decide on the things that really matter to him.

"You can just sit back and enjoy the fun characters," said Hopkins, "and you get it; it's easy."

The show features a couple well known songs, such as "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets" and "A Man Doesn't Know."

"It's a very eclectic set of music," said Hopkins. "[The writers] wanted to showcase different styles of music to appeal to the wide variety of people who were attending musicals."

In addition to Willsboro students, the cast also features two students from AuSable Valley Central School and two from Keene Central School.

With growing patronage from previous productions, the Drama Club was able to invest more resources. "Damn Yankees" will feature some special effects using pyrotechnics, a fog machine, and upgraded lighting.

"We really tried to step it up this year in terms of sets, lighting, choreography, music; everything," said Hopkins.

Performances are scheduled for Nov. 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. Admission is $10. For more information, or to reserve a ticket, call 963-4456 ext. 400, or send an e-mail to tickets@willsborocsd.org.

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