Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Damn Yankees

As part of our subscriber package to The 5th Avenue Theater we got tickets to Damn Yankees several months ago. Of course we couldn't have known at the time that May Day would turn downtown Seattle into utter chaos just a few hours before the show was scheduled to start.

Peaceful protests rapidly turned into violence and vandalism yesterday morning and the drama continued well into the afternoon. Looking down from my office on the 27th floor, at one point I saw a mob of protesters attack a car in an intersection, jumping on it and hitting it! Seriously?! I found the whole situation to be utterly annoying, but I called the theater and was informed that the show would go on as scheduled, so Stew and I decided we would not let the actions of some crazy hooligans affect our evening. He met me at work and we walked up to Rock Bottom, our favorite pre-show place to grab a bite. We could still see crowds of people milling about near Westlake just a few blocks down, but it was beginning to rain and lots of people seemed to have abandoned the city earlier that afternoon, because Rock Bottom (usually jam packed) was relatively quiet and we got a table in the bar right away.

Damn Yankees wasn't what I thought it would be at all. The show is a musical comedy about baseball and one man's desperate attempt to help his team win the pennant. Basically, an older gentleman named Joe, who is obsessed with baseball, sells his soul to the devil in order to become a young man and legendary baseball player. He tries to help his previously unsuccessful team, the Washington Senators, beat the New York Yankees, all the while being watched by the devil and seduced by the bewitching Lola. But in the end Joe can't forget his wife he left behind, and at the last moment he uses an escape clause to break free from the devil and return to his ordinary life.

I found the whole show to be very disjointed and strange. I also thought it was supposed to be pretty funny, but I don't think I laughed out loud once although the guy behind us thought almost everything was hilarious (he may have been drunk). A couple of the musical numbers with all of the baseball players were kind of entertaining, but overall I didn't feel any connection to the story or the characters and frankly didn't care one bit what Joe decided to do. I generally felt bored and found myself day dreaming several times during the show. I would definitely put Damn Yankees at the very bottom of our list of musicals so far, but surprisingly Stewart actually liked it quite a bit more than others we've seen.

In any case I always enjoy a night out with my husband, so that part was fun. And by the time the show got out the streets of Seattle were completely deserted by the riffraff from earlier in the day. I am still shocked and embarrassed that these people decided to tear up our beautiful city! Maybe they should have tried some cultural experiences instead, like the theater...

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