Dealing with the Devil
the time, Salentine had delivered a promising audition with the group in
“I went home rejected,” Salentine says, “but when I wrote to the Marquis Theatre where Yankees was being performed, Mr. Lewis sent an autographed photo for me to cry on.”
Fast-forward to the present and Salentine is now the artistic director of the Sunset Playhouse, where he’s decided to end the current season by paying homage to the musical that had a hand in guiding him to Elm Grove.
The Sunset Playhouse typically ends its season with a musical, and Damn Yankees fits the bill. The musical tells the story of a man willing to sell his soul to the devil for a chance to help his favorite baseball team win the pennant race against the New York Yankees.
Accomplished actor/director Bryce Lord, who appeared in last year’s Sunset production of Footloose and previously directed Sylvia for Sunset,is slated to direct. Lord brings an impressive history in local theater that includes work with nearly every major commercial theater group.
Some Sunset subscribers expressed concern that Salentine wouldn’t be the one to direct the musical this year, which Salentine says is “flattering in one way, but very stressful in other ways,” adding, “Bryce is a great choice to prove that the success of our musicals isn’t based solely on my doing the direction.”
cast of 24 includes Bill Jackson in the role of Applegate.
“That creates a wonderful energy offstage around Sunset and will translate to a great spark onstage as well,” Salentine says.
The Sunset Playhouse’s production of Damn Yankees opens July 11and closes Aug. 3.