By Jason Klein
The New York Yankees and adversity don’t mix.
The most successful franchise in professional sports is the oil to adversity’s vinegar – consistently rising to the top.
The same can be said for the cast members of the new Broadway show “Bronx Bombers.”
In desperate need of a warm baseball reprieve this frigid winter, my wife and I found ourselves at the Circle in the Square Theater this weekend, checking out the pinstriped play. That’s when cast and crew were thrown the ultimate curveball halfway through the performance.
Following a scene set within Yogi Berra’s bedroom, ceiling cables attached to the bedposts decided to malfunction. When an extended fifty-minute intermission couldn’t rectify the issue, the oversized prop was left as a permanent part of the set the rest of the show.
The Circle in the Square theater has no backstage area, and consequently, no place to move the errant bed to.
Ever wonder what a king size bed would look like inside the Yankees clubhouse?
Rather than lay down, cast members adopted a “show must go on” credo, and turned in a flawless performance the rest of the way. They could have easily just pulled the cover over their heads. Instead, I was quickly drawn back into the compelling story, often forgetting the large elephant…I mean…bed in the room.
A Yankee fan’s ultimate fantasy, “Bronx Bombers” brings together legends from all different eras of Yankees baseball. Told from Berra’s point of view, an all-star collection of players including Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Howard and Jeter meet up in a dream sequence – all in an effort save the franchise from combustion following Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson’s famous 1977 dugout squabble at Fenway Park.
Produced by Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo, the show pays extra close attention to detail throughout. Sitting atop the theater, like a crown, is a replica Yankee Stadium façade, and with MLB’s blessing, each player wears their era-specific uniform. Everything from length of sleeves, bagginess of pants and style of stirrups is addressed. Actors also do an excellent job portraying their characters. At times, I found myself recognizing players purely by their posture and mannerisms.
When an uncooperative prop threatened this authenticity halfway through the show, the cast responded in true Yankee-like fashion – rising above adversity to deliver a championship performance.
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