This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

sharing is caring
Cabrillo Music Theatre‘s smashing production of Damn Yankees opened this past weekend at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. And what a home run it was! Starring four bright AEA actors, including Jersey Boys’ Renée Marino (Lola), Broadway’s John Sloman (Applegate), and LA favorites Travis Leland (Joe Hardy), and Sarah Tattersall (Meg Boyd).
Katheryne Penny & Ensemble. Photo by Ed Krieger.

There is something memorable and tantalizing about the winning combination of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross‘ songs, Kirsten Chandler‘s direction and John Todd‘s playful choreography.

With memorable numbers such as Shoeless Joe From Hannibal Mo’, Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets and A Man Doesn’t Know, the music, sung by the all-star cast, is sure to bring a non-stop smile to your face from start to finish. Sarah Tattersall and Travis Leland‘s first act duet, A Man Doesn’t Know, is rich and heart-wrenching as is John Atkins solo Goodbye Old Girl as Joe Boyd. Recent UCLA graduate Katheryne Penny‘s Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO is witty and the baseball ensemble (featuring J. Bailey Burcham and Michael Mittman) hits a home run with each of their group numbers from Heart to The Game. I really cannot think of a weak link in the entire show. Everyone down to Farley Cadena (Sister) and the kids’ ensemble were strong and thoroughly entertaining.

Marino and Sloman. Photo by Ed Krieger

But the true stars of Friday’s opening night performance were leading man, John Sloman (Applegate), and Renée Marino (Lola). Sloman looks like the ultimate 1950s business shark with his dapper suits, smooth voice and commanding performance. His second act number, Good Old Times, is a showstopper. Marino’s gorgeous triple-threat performance as temptress Lola was sexy, sizzling, and spectacular. Her two solo numbers are everything you could hope for.

For those of you familiar with the original Bob Fosse choreography, you will not be disappointed with John Todd‘s fresh and playful choreography. Group numbers such as Heart, Six Months Out of Every Year and Who’s Got the Pain are joyful and dazzling.

Damn Yankees launches the 2015-16 A Season for All Seasons at Cabrillo Music Theatre. Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will be performed in the intimate Scherr Forum during the winter (29 January – 14 February 2016), their Spring musical will be Stephen
Schwartz’ Children of Eden (8-17 April 2016) and Disney’s The Little Mermaid will wrap up the season from 15-24 July 2016.
Damn Yankees will be playing five more shows this coming weekend. If you haven’t already seen the show, you will want to snap up tickets ASAP. This is a hit of a show, not worth missing. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I had my ticket comped for review purposes but all opinions are my own.