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MAPA to present the musical comedy ‘Damn Yankees’ under the stars

By Staff | Aug 4, 2011

Under the watchful eye of Applegate (Steve Hatcher), temptress Lola (Cyndi Davis) distracts ballplayer Young Joe (Mark Bolden) in MAPA’s production of “Damn Yankees,” which will be staged Aug. 5-21 under the stars at Maui Tropical Plantation. Photo by Eric Rolph Photography.

WAILUKU — Spend an evening under the stars with the whole family at Maui Academy of Performing Arts’ outdoor production of the musical comedy “Damn Yankees” at Maui Tropical Plantation’s Field of Dreams.

A charming retelling of the Faust legend, “Damn Yankees” follows the story of a middle-aged baseball fanatic who makes a pact with the devil for a chance to lead his favorite baseball team, the Washington Senators, to victory against the New York Yankees.

It’s a fun, all-American, family friendly show that has something for everyone. A nostalgic throwback to a simpler time, “Damn Yankees” is a great love story wrapped up in a terrific sports story with a variety of show-stopping dance numbers, memorable music and an engaging message about the value of love and family.

Winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, “Damn Yankees” first opened on Broadway in 1955 with choreography by the famed Bob Fosse. The show is filled with nonstop hits, including the fun-loving “You Gotta Have Heart,” the boisterous “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO,” and the sultry “Whatever Lola Wants.”

This is the first production of “Damn Yankees” on Maui in decades, and MAPA is pulling out all the stops for this unique outdoor theatrical event.

Directed by David C. Johnston, with choreography by Andre Morissette and musical direction by Marti Kluth, the cast is a deep bench of some of Maui’s finest performers: Steve Hatcher, Cyndi Davis, Mark Bolden, Mark Collmer, Kristi Scott, Andrew Bulkley, Joel Agnew, Leighanna Locke, Francis Tau’a, Eric Peterson, Rochelle Dunning, Beth Garrow, Julie Kawamura, Greg Cotton, Robyn Grahn, Adam Burke, Gina Duncan, Allen Cohen, Miles Kelsey, Joseph Duncan, Jason Stahn, Joshua Eldred, Dillon Green, Cody Ball, Sydney Roberts, Hana Valle and Rayna Koishikawa.

As a baseball-themed show, “Damn Yankees” is a natural choice for the outdoor stage at Maui Tropical Plantation’s Field of Dreams, where thousands of Maui residents and visitors saw “South Pacific” last summer and “West Side Story” in 2008.

To accommodate the crowds, MAPA has scheduled three additional performances for this year’s production of “Damn Yankees.”

As the only outdoor theatre on the island, MAPA’s Summer Under the Stars productions have become one of Maui’s favorite summertime events. Audiences relish the chance to see a professional-level theatrical production in this unique venue with its unparalleled backdrop of Haleakala under a half moon.

The gates open at 6:15 p.m., so that audience members can enjoy dinner and drinks before the show begins. Maui Tropical Plantation will tend bar while Bruddah Willy’s Sticky Ribs will provide baseball-themed picnic dinners for sale, including Maui’s own Redondo hot-dogs, Maui Cattle Beef burgers, and, of course, Bruddah Willy’s famous BBQ Baby Back Ribs. Other choices include veggie burgers, homemade mac-n-cheese, salads, snacks and delicious desserts like triple chocolate brownies, banana bread pudding, mini caramel apples and fresh made “Maui-sadas.”

Performances are set for Aug. 5-21 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Gates open at 6:15 p.m. Bring blankets or low beach chairs for lawn seating or sit in the bleachers. Please call 244-8760 in advance to arrange special needs seating.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors (62 and over) and $18 for students (18 and under). For tickets, visit www.mauiacademy.org or call the MAPA Box Office at 244-8760.