‘Bronx Bombers’ make their way to Broadway

The Yankees may not have made it to the World Series in 2013, but one thing they can say they have that the Boston Red Sox don’t is their own Broadway show, coming in 2014. Here’s “Variety” with the story:

Can the Yankees hit a Broadway home run? Rialto producers are stepping up to bat with “Bronx Bombers,” a new play about the Gotham baseball team that will move into Circle in the Square in January.

Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo — the commercial producing duo behind pigskin bio-play “Lombardi” and hoops drama “Magic/Bird” — will produce with special producing partners (and Broadway tyros) the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball.

Peter Scolari and Tracy Shayne have signed on to play Yogi Berra and his wife Carmen in the play, which had its world premiere earlier this fall at Off Broadway’s Primary Stages. Also in the cast are returning thespsFrancois Battiste, Chris Henry Coffey, Bill Dawes, Christopher Jackson, Keith Nobbs, John Wernke (pictured, above) and C.J. Wilson.

Play, which follows Yogi Berra and his wife through the trajectory of Yankees history, is penned and helmed byEric Simonson, who also wrote “Lombardi” and “Magic/Bird.” Kirmser and Ponturo have worked to turns sports fans into Broadway playgoers in the past, but “Magic/Bird” closed quickly in 2012 and while “Lombardi” carved out a relatively long run on the Main Stem, it too closed in the red. “Bronx Bombers” will likely receive promotional support from the Yankees and MLB, similar to arrangements made for “Lombardi” with the NFL and for “Magic/Johnson” with the NBA.

“Bronx Bombers” beings preview Jan. 10 ahead of a Feb. 6 opening at Circle in the Square, the venue where “Lombardi” ran for eight months starting in May 2010. The last tenant of Circle in the Square, “Soul Doctor,” shuttered Oct. 13.

If I can take a wild guess, I’d say that the show “Bronx Bombers” could be a hit with Yankees fans that like Broadway performances. “Lombardi” turned out pretty well, although it received mixed reviews from the critics. But just so Broadway knows, if “Bronx Bombers” needs an actual Yankee that has experience with Broadway (even if it was only one show), they could always ask Mark Teixeira to make a cameo. He proved he could ‘rock’ in “Rock of Ages.”

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