Damn Yankees
Directed by George Abbottand Stanley Donen
Produced by George Abbott
Frederick Brisson
Stanley Donen
Robert E. Griffith
Harold Prince
Written by Douglass Wallop
George Abbott
Starring Tab Hunter
Gwen Verdon
Ray Walston
Russ Brown
Shannon Bolin
Nathaniel Frey
Music by Richard Adler
Jerry Ross
Cinematography Harold Lipstein
Editing by Frank Bracht
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) 1958
Running time 111 min.fuc
Language English
IMDb profile

Damn Yankees is a musical comedy, a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s (when the New York Yankees dominated Major League Baseball), in Washington, D.C., with book by Douglass Wallop and George Abbott and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. It was based on Wallop's novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant.


The plot concerns a long-suffering middle-aged fan of the Washington Senators baseball club, real estate salesman Joe Boyd, who sells his soul to the Devil (Ray Walston) and becomes slugger Joe Hardy, the "long ball hitter the Senators need that he'd sell his soul for" (as spoken by him in a throwaway line near the beginning of the drama). His hitting prowess enables the Senators to win the American League pennant over the then-dominant Yankees.

Production HistoryEdit

Damn Yankees opened on Broadway in 1955 starring Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston, and won Tony awards for "Best Musical" and "Best Composer and Lyricist." The musical also featured a young Jean Stapleton before her career-defining role as Edith Bunker in All in the Family.

A made-for-TV movie version was filmed in 1967. Phil Silvers played the role of "Mr. Applegate," the earthly form of Satan.

The stage version was revived in 1994 with substantial revisions to the book and score, and featured Bebe Neuwirth in the role of seductive temptress Lola and Victor Garber in the part of Mr. Applegate (the Devil). Garber was succeeded on Broadway by Jerry Lewis, who then took the production on a national tour and also played the role in a London production.

Musical Numbers (Revival version)Edit

Act One Act Two
  1. Overture
  2. Six Months Out Of Every Year
  3. Boyds' Living Room (scene)
  4. Boyds' Front Porch (scene)
  5. Goodbye Old Girl
  6. Blooper Ballet
  7. Ball Field (scene)
  8. Heart
  9. Locker Room (scene)
  10. Joe at Bat
  11. Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo.
  12. Shoeless Joe Reprise
  13. Press Conference (scene)
  14. Applegate's Apartment (scene)
  15. A Little Brains, a Little Talent
  16. Boyds' Kitchen (scene)
  17. A Man Doesn't Know
  18. Locker Room (scene)
  19. Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets
  20. Act One Finale (scene)
  1. Who's Got the Pain?
  2. Locker Room (scene, #2)
  3. The Game
  4. Boyds' House (scene)
  5. Near to You
  6. Those Were the Good Old Days
  7. The Trial
  8. Limbo (scene)
  9. Two Lost Souls
  10. Bottom of the Ninth (scene)
  11. A Man Doesn't Know (Reprise)


Lead Roles

  1. Joe Hardy — The 22-year-old, home run hitting alter ego of Joe Boyd (baritone age 18-27)
  2. Mr. Applegate — The Devil in disguise as a slick salesman (baritone, age 30-55)

Supporting Roles

  1. Lola — The Devil's seductress assistant (alto age 20-35, dancing)
  2. Meg Boyd — Joe's loyal, traditional wife (alto age 40-60)
  3. Gloria Thorpe — A probing reporter (mezzo-soprano age 21-30, dancing)
  4. Doris — A friend of Meg (age 40-60)
  5. Joe Boyd — A middle-aged, overweight married man who is in love with baseball, and specifically the Washington Senators (tenor age 40-60)
  6. Sister — A friend of Meg (alto age 40-60)
  7. Smokey — Second baseman for the Senators (tenor age 18-27)
  8. Van Buren — The hard working manager of the Washington Senators with great heart but no luck (baritone age 35-65)

Cameo Roles

  1. Henry — Center fielder for the Senators (baritone age 18-27)
  2. Linville — Catcher for the Senators (baritone age 18-27)
  3. Lowe — Left fielder for the Senators (baritone age 18-27)
  4. Sohovik — Third baseman for the Senators (baritone age 18-27)
  5. The Commissioner (age 35-75)
  6. Welch — Team owner of the Senators (age 40-75)


  1. Baseball players and batboys (Male Chorus ages 6-27, dancing)
  2. Mickey — Infielder for the Senators (baritone ages 18-27)

The film versionEdit

With the exception of Tab Hunter in the role of Joe Hardy, (replacing Stephen Douglass), the Broadway principals reprised their stage roles. The film, directed by George Abbott, was released in 1958. One notable difference between film and play was Gwen Verdon's performance of the song, “A Little Brains.” In the stage version, Verdon’s performance of the number was marked by suggestive hip-movements (as choreographed by Bob Fosse). In 1958, these hip-movements were considered too risqué for a mainstream American film. Therefore, in the film version, she simply pauses at these points.

External linkEdit

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