For the last year and a half, much like the rest of the world, theatres and stages have been empty. So, Encore Musicals is excited to fill the stage with the Richard Adler show Damn Yankees this weekend at the RiverPark Center.
Damn Yankees follows Joe Boyd, a real estate agent and fan of the Washington Senators baseball team. One day he gets a wish to beat the top-of-the-league Yankees in a game by becoming Joe Hardy. The show is a comedy set in the 1950s.
For Director Calvin Malone, directing this cast has been a great way to get back into the movements of the theater after so much time away.
“It’s been difficult and in a way, but it’s also just like riding a bike. You get back on there and all the movements are still there, just your muscles are sometimes kind of rusty,” Malone said.
Damn Yankees is the first show that Malone worked on professionally after his time in college. He cited this as the show that taught him the most about the theatre industry.
When he decided to bring the show to Owensboro back in January, he knew he would have a familiar feel while leading it. While he says the show isn’t award-winning, at the core it’s a show about having fun after a time of chaos.
Malone said when the show originally came out in 1955, the country had just come out of World War II in the 1940s and The Great Depression in the 1930s, and people needed something to focus on to bring some joy and fun to the times.
A parallel to coming out of a pandemic and needing something to focus on that brings a sense of happiness.
“It’s really been beautiful to be able to get back to the root of entertainment, which is to help people forget about what’s going on,” Malone said.
Malone has loved getting back to the core of theatre, and he says this cast has been able to make it fun as well.
The musical is performed at the RiverPark Center at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased here.