Feature

Johnny Baseball

Robert Reale and Richard Dresser’s musical about the 86-year “curse” that kept the Boston Red Sox from winning a World Series Championship is a work that “even a Yankee could love,” said Frank Rizzo in Variety.

Loeb Drama Center
Boston
(617) 547-8300

***

Robert Reale and Richard Dresser’s musical about the 86-year “curse” that kept the Boston Red Sox from winning a World Series Championship is a work that “even a Yankee could love,” said Frank Rizzo in Variety. The show posits that the Sox’s decades-long vexation was not the “curse of the Bambino”—said to have kicked in when the Sox traded star pitcher Babe Ruth to the Yankees—but instead a sort of cosmic punishment for racism on the part of the team’s owners. In this telling, the curse begins when the team steps in to nix a burgeoning love affair between the show’s fictional protagonist, a pitcher for the Sox named Johnny O’Brien, and a beautiful black nightclub singer named Daisy Wyatt.

Johnny Baseball is clearly out to be the next Great American Musical,” said Jenna Scherer in the Boston Herald. It’s “old-fashioned and earnest, almost to a fault,” combining the worlds of sport and song-and-dance in a way that recalls Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’ 1955 classic Damn Yankees. Reale’s songs summon the heyday of American musical theater, from “One More Run”—sung by a chorus of bleacher bums—to the Babe Ruth–led bar ditty “Brotherhood of Bastards.” As Johnny, Colin Donnell “is a natural leading man,” while Burke Moses oozes rakish charm as Ruth. Johnny Baseball may be a bit “too derivative to be a masterwork, but as a piece of Americana, it’s pretty great.”

Recommended

Is the far-right victory in Italy cause for concern?
Giorgia Meloni.
Devika Rao

Is the far-right victory in Italy cause for concern?

Russia claims victory in 4 staged Ukrainian referendums
Referendum voting in Donetsk, Ukraine
Prelude to a theft

Russia claims victory in 4 staged Ukrainian referendums

Harris to visit DMZ amid nuclear threats from North Korea
Kamala Harris
High tension

Harris to visit DMZ amid nuclear threats from North Korea

Chess champion Magnus Carlsen accuses rival Hans Niemann of cheating
Magnus Carlsen
above board?

Chess champion Magnus Carlsen accuses rival Hans Niemann of cheating

Most Popular

New Pacific island forms after underwater volcano erupts
Home Reef Erupts
Speed Reads

New Pacific island forms after underwater volcano erupts

The most shocking claims from the newest books about Trump's presidency
A book.
Briefing

The most shocking claims from the newest books about Trump's presidency

Will Republicans impeach Biden?
President Biden.
Briefing

Will Republicans impeach Biden?