'Bronx Bombers' Headed to Broadway

9:01 PM PST 10/20/2013 by David Rooney
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Tracy Shayne and Peter Scolari

Peter Scolari will star as baseball legend Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra in the new play exploring the history of the New York Yankees.

NEW YORK – The New York Yankees and Major League Baseball will serve as special producing partners with Kirmser Ponturo Group on the Broadway run early next year of Bronx Bombers, a new play written and directed by Eric Simonson.

The show is producing team Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo's third collaboration with playwright Simonson designed to bring pro sports fans to Broadway. It follows the 2010 bio-drama Lombardi, about Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi, and Magic/Bird, the 2012 chronicle of the friendship and rivalry between NBA stars Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird.

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Those plays were produced in association with the NFL and the NBA, respectively. While Lombardi played for eight months to modest business, Magic/Bird was a swift flop, running for just a month.

Kirmser and Ponturo’s latest venture into crafting theatrical entertainment out of sports history was developed in collaboration with the Yankees and Major League Baseball.

Real-life husband and wife Peter Scolari and Tracy Shayne will star as baseball couple Yogi and Carmen Berra in the play, which begins previews at Circle in the Square on Jan. 10, 2014, with the official opening set for Feb. 6.

Scolari appeared on Broadway last season opposite his former Bosom Buddies co-star Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy. He has a recurring role on HBO’s Girls as the father of Lena Dunham’s character. Shayne was last on Broadway as Roxie Hart in the long-running Chicago revival.

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Bronx Bombers recently played a short premiere engagement off-Broadway, produced by Primary Stages. It follows the Yankees through a century of trials and triumphs, featuring such celebrated players as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard, Reggie Jackson and Derek Jeter.

“Generations of Yankees fans have been part of the winning tradition since their early childhood,” said Ponturo. “Their emotional commitment and passion will be fully realized as they experience this play and sit with the players who forged that history.”

In addition to Scolari and Shayne, who are joining the cast for the Broadway transfer, the ensemble also features Francois Battiste, Chris Henry Coffey, Bill Dawes, Christopher Jackson, Keith Nobbs, John Wernke and C.J. Wilson.

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