SBD/November 16, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Yankees Take Center Stage In New Broadway Play By Kirmser Ponturo Group

Ponturo and Kirmser previously worked on "Lombardi" and "Magic/Bird"
Producers FRAN KIRMSER and TONY PONTURO have “turned their attention to baseball with the commission of a new play that draws on the history of the New York Yankees, to be developed in collaboration with Major League Baseball,” according to David Rooney of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Kirmser and Ponturo have previously collaborated to bring plays “Lombardi” about the Packers coach and “Magic/Bird” about the NBA rivals to Broadway. The Yankees theater project “will be the third original play from Kirmser Ponturo Group.” No playwright is “officially attached to the new baseball commission at this stage.” The producers claim that their shows have “introduced more than 100,000 new audience members to Broadway” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 11/15). Kirmser said, “It will look at the tradition of the Yankees from the 1930s to the present day.” She added that theatergoers will “see the stage filled with actors” playing BABE RUTH, LOU GEHRIG, JOE DIMAGGIO, MICKEY MANTLE and DEREK JETER. In N.Y., Richard Sandomir noted Kirmser and Ponturo “would not describe the plot, or how characters whose real-life athletic careers span nine decades would be deployed or integrated onstage.” Kirmser: “This will be along the lines of what we’ve done before: we’ll deliver authenticity” (NYTIMES.com, 11/15). In N.Y., Corky Siemaszko notes the producers “expect to debut either next year or 2014.” The Yankees are “completely on board with the project.” Yankees COO LONN TROST said, “It is a thrill that two iconic American institutions, the Yankees and Broadway theater, are joining together” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/16).
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