Last night one of my token straight male friends and I saw the Broadway transfer of Bronx Bombers by Eric Simonson. I strongly dislike the Yankees, but I think of it more as a history lesson than anything else. This wasn’t my first Bombers experience though: I saw it in October while it was off-Broadway at Primary Stages. I enjoyed Lombardi and Magic/Bird, so I figured I’d enjoy this too and I definitely enjoyed it, so I knew I’d like it at the Circle in the Square as well.
The Yankees pretty much made baseball a fanatical sport in America. A big part of Bombers was Yogi Berra’s (played by the fantastic Peter Scolari) struggle to make sure the fans kept coming back, entwined with a bit of fantasy and a few heated arguments between famous players. I didn’t notice a lot changes from the off-Broadway incarnation, except for a couple super fantasy moments in Yogi’s head.
The ensemble cast, playing different roles in both acts, gelled excellently and played the multitude of roles expertly. In addition to Scolari, the cast included Christopher Jackson (Derek Jeter), Bill Dawes (Thurman Munson/Mickey Mantle), Keith Nobbs (Billy Martin), Francois Battiste (Reggie Jackson/Elston Howard), Tracy Shayne (Carmen Berra), CJ Wilson (Babe Ruth), John Wernke (Lou Gehrig), and Chris Henry Coffey (Joe DiMaggio).
I can imagine that hardcore Yankees fans would get worked up emotionally when Berra (Scolari) describes what it means to be a Yankee. In that sense, I think Bronx Bombers will be a hit. If they can get the word out to their fans, that is.
Afterward my friend and I waited for our respective friends in the cast, his being Wenke and mine being Dawes. Bill snapped this photo:
Does he look like Mickey Mantle? I wish I could give a definitive answer, but I have no idea what the real
thing person looks like. If you think he does, you should come see the show.
If you’re a Yankees fan, or even just a history fan, I think you’ll enjoy Bronx Bombers.