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'Damn Yankees' melds big-league players with hometown favorites

| Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Pittsburgh CLO
John Riddle plays Joe Boyd in PIttsburgh CLO's 'Damn Yankees.'
PIttsburgh CLO
John Bolton plays Applegate, the devil, in Pittsburgh CLO's 'Damn Yankees.'
Pittsburgh CLO
North Allegheny High School graduate Sarah Strimel plays Lola in Pittsburgh CLO's 'Damn Yankees.'

Three big-league players and a roster of hometown favorites will be batting out the hits when Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's production of “Damn Yankees” begins July 5 at the Benedum Center, Downtown.

Fans of the Pirates should easily connect with George Abbott and Douglass Wallop's 1955 Broadway musical about Joe Boyd, a fan of the hapless Washington Senators who makes a deal with the devil to become the super slugger who can lead the team to a World Series victory against the New York Yankees.

Everything goes according to Joe's plan until the devil throws a few curve balls guaranteed to end Joe's dream and the team's winning streak.

Composer Richard Adler and lyricist Jerry Ross' score contains enduringly popular songs that include “(You've Gotta Have) Heart,” “Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)” and “Those Were the Good Old Days.”

Performers John Riddle, who made his Broadway debut last spring in “The Visit,” and John Bolton, recently seen on Broadway in “Dames at Sea,” face off as super slugger Joe Hardy (the man Boyd becomes) and the delightfully devilish Applegate.

Lending assistance to Applegate's interference is North Allegheny High School graduate Sarah Strimel who is taking a break from her Broadway role in “An American in Paris” to fill the role of the seductive Lola.

Backing them up is a home team of performers — including Jeffrey Howell, Chris Laitta, Paul Palmer and Gavan Pamer.

Performances for “Damn Yankees” are at 8 p.m. July 5 to 8, 2 and 8 p.m. July 9 and 2 and 7 p.m. July 10 at the Benedum Center, Downtown. Admission is $25.75 to $80.75.

Details: 412-456-6666 or pittsburghCLO.org

Alice T. Carter is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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