Broadway producers from the Kirmser Ponturo Group recently announced plans for a new, still untitled play that will focus on the history of Major League Baseball’s most famous team. The New York Yankees and the MLB organization are partnering with producers, and the Kirmser Ponturo Group hope to have the play ready to hit the Great White Way by late next year.
In regards to the upcoming play and the Yankees’ collaboration Bloomberg reports that Lonn Trost, the team’s Chief Operations Officer, said, “It is a thrill that two iconic American institutions, the Yankees and the Broadway theater, are joining together. Just as generations of fans have been captivated in their seats at Yankee Stadium, theatergoers will be able to experience the same drama and joy. We look forward to opening our archives to the process and sharing our stories.”
Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo are producing the upcoming play. They have each produced Tony award-winning musicals, and the duo recently co-produced two other sports-themed Broadway productions: “Lombardi” (2010) and “Magic/Bird” (2012). These two plays received mixed reviews. According to the NY Times, “‘Lombardi,’ starring Dan Lauria as Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, was a modest hit. But ‘Magic/Bird,’ about the evolution of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird’s friendship, closed after only 37 performances.”
Producers are likely hoping that familiarity with the subject matter will drive in the New York audience for their upcoming Yankees play. Co-producer Ponturo said, “With the Yankees, the passion in the tristate area is so real. A theater piece in New York City with those passionate fans will hit on that local emotion.”
According to the NY Times, Kirmser and Ponturo’s Yankees play will be “based on the dynamics of a franchise that has been admired, envied and loathed.” The history of the team is filled with a great cast of characters that are ripe with drama, and the producers will undoubtedly use this to their advantage. Co-producer Kirmser told the New York Times that their play will “look at the tradition of the Yankees from the 1930s to the present day,” and audience members will see players ranging from Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter.
The Kirmser Ponturo Group announced in a recent statement that the upcoming production “will shine a spotlight on the personalities, triumphs and private moments that have become the true accounts of legends.” The co-producers have yet to reveal any details in regards to plot or specific characters, but guests in the theater will likely see a lot of the past greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio, in addition to recent stars.
The upcoming play will mark the second time that the New York Yankees have hit the Broadway stage. The musical “Damn Yankees” opened in 1955, with 1,019 performances in its first run and 533 in a later revival. No official opening date or venue for the Kirmser-Ponturo production has been announced, but the production company is reportedly hoping for a late 2013 or early 2014 release.