Who Was in the Original Cast of Damn Yankees?

If you’re a fan of the musical Damn Yankees, you might be wondering who was in the original cast. Here’s a look at some of the actors who brought this show to life.

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Opening Scene

The opening scene of Damn Yankees is set in a bar called Slade’s where a group of men are discussing baseball. One of the men, Joe Boyd, is a die-hard Washington Senators fan who is bemoaning the team’s years of losing. Joe is convinced that the only way the Senators will ever win is if they make a deal with the devil.

Joe Boyd

One of the original members of the cast of Damn Yankees, Joe Boyd played the lead character, Joe Hardy. Boyd was born in Ohio in 1918 and grew up in Pennsylvania. He served in the Navy during World War II and then studied acting at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. After graduation, he moved to New York City and began his career on Broadway.

Boyd appeared in several successful productions during his time on Broadway, including The Pajama Game, Run for Your Wife!, and No Strings. In 1955, he was cast in Damn Yankees. The production was a huge success, becoming the longest-running musical of its time. Boyd won a Tony Award for his performance as Joe Hardy.

After Damn Yankees closed in 1957, Boyd continued to appear on Broadway and television. His most notable roles were in the television series Wagon Train and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. He retired from acting in 1970 and died in 1999 at the age of 80.

Meg Boyd

Meg Boyd was originally played by Jean Stapleton in the 1955 Broadway production of Damn Yankees.

Mr. Applegate

Ray Walston originally played the diabolical Mr. Applegate, the devil’s representative on earth, in the original 1955 production of Damn Yankees.

The Game

On May 5, 1955, the original Broadway production of Damn Yankees opened at the 46th Street Theatre. The musical comedy, with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, was directed by Abbott. It ran for 1,019 performances.

Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd was the general manager of the Washington Senators, a hapless team that finished in last place for years on end. In the musical, Joe sells his soul to Satan in order to help his team beat the New York Yankees and win the pennant. Joe is played by a middle-aged man in the original production.

Meg Boyd

Meg Boyd was played by Gwen Verdon in the original Broadway production of Damn Yankees.

Mr. Applegate

Ray Walston originated the role of Applegate, the Devil, in the original 1955 Broadway production of Damn Yankees. He reprised his role in the 1958 film adaptation, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

The Locker Room

The original Broadway production of Damn Yankees opened on May 5, 1955. The show starred Gwen Verdon as Lola, Ray Walston as Applegate, Robert Shafer as Joe Boyd, and Stephen Douglass as Joe Hardy. The show was a huge success and went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd was the original owner of the Washington Senators in the musical Damn Yankees. He sold his soul to the devil, known as Mr. Applegate, in order to turn his team into a winning one. Joe was played by Gwen Verdon in the original Broadway production.

Meg Boyd

Meg Boyd is a young, naïve widow who works as a physical therapist at a Washington Senators baseball game. She develops a crush on Joe Hardy, a talented player who has just been traded to the Senators. When Hardy is secretly sold to the New York Yankees, Boyd is heartbroken.

Boyd is tempted by the devil, Applegate, to sell her soul so that the Senators can win the pennant and beat the Yankees. In return, Applegate will make Boyd young and beautiful again. She agrees, and transforms into Lola, a seductive vixen. Lola sets her sights on Hardy, but he is unimpressed by her charms and remains loyal to his wife.

The musical follows Boyd as she tries to win Hardy’s affections while helping the Senators clinch the pennant. Along the way, she must confront her own feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. Meg Boyd was originally played by Gwen Verdon in the 1955 Broadway production of Damn Yankees.

Mr. Applegate

In the original 1957 Broadway production, Ray Walston played Mr. Applegate, the Devil’s representative on Earth. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.

The Bar

Lola was not in the original cast of the play. Lola was created for the movie version and was played by Gwen Verdon.

Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd was originally played by Stephen Douglass. He was the team’s owner and the one who made the deal with the devil.

Lola was originally played by Gwen Verdon. She was a seductive temptress who worked for the devil.

Appearing as themselves, vaudeville performers Helen Traubel and Sammy Willis were featured in the show.

Meg Boyd

Meg Boyd was one of the original members of the cast of Damn Yankees. She played the role of Gloria Thorpe, a reporter who is assigned to cover the Washington Senators baseball team. Meg has also appeared in other Broadway productions, such as The Sound of Music and Camelot.

Mr. Applegate

Ray Walston originated the role of the devil, Applegate, in the original 1955 Broadway production. He reprised his performance in the 1958 film adaptation. In 1994, he won a Tony Award for his role in the Broadway revival.

The Final Scene

Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd was the original owner of the Washington Senators in the play Damn Yankees. He sells his soul to the devil, played by Applegate, in order to have his team win the pennant. Joe is played by Ray Walston in the original Broadway production and by Robert Redford in the film version.

Meg Boyd

Meg Boyd was originally played by Peggy Wood in the original production of Damn Yankees. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.

Mr. Applegate

Mr. Applegate, also known as the Devil, is the main antagonist of the musical. He makes a bet with Joe Boyd that he can turn Joe’s favorite baseball team, the Washington Senators, into a winning team by turning one of their players into a supernaturally good hitter. He chooses Joe’s favorite player, aging slugger Joe Hardy. Applegate’s goal is to win the bet and prove that there are no true gentlemen left in baseball.

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