By Barry Janoff
December 13, 2013: Even during the off-season, those damn New York Yankees know how to make noise and create headlines.
This time, however, it's not about Robinson Cano leaving or Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann coming in.
In the tradition of such Broadway shows such as Damn Yankees, producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo are bringing Bronx Bombers to the stage, featuring actors playing such stars as Joe DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter.
Joining Kirmser and Ponturo, whose KirmserPonturo Group previously produced Lombardi and Magic/Bird, as special producing partners are the Yankees and MLB, the first foray on Broadway for both organizations.
To help give the event even more realism, Bronx Bombers has partnered with Steiner Collectibles to create a Yankees’ memorabilia museum in in the lobby of Circle in the Square Theatre. The items will be on display beginning with the first scheduled preview performance on Jan. 10, 2014. All ticket holders will have full access to the museum and lobby memorabilia experience.
Opening night is scheduled for Feb. 6. The show is currently booked to run through July 6, per Circle in the Square Theater. Bronx Bombers ran off-Broadway earlier this year.
Steiner said this would be the first time the memorabilia will be showcased in a public venue and the only place in New York to view Yankees-Steiner Sports memorabilia.
Memorabilia will include seats from the original Yankee Stadium, a 2008 Yankee Stadium dirt collage, autographed jerseys, stained plexi-glass featuring members of the Yankees and autographed plaques by such players as Mariano Rivera, Jeter, Berra and DiMaggio.
A variety of items will be available for purchase through silent auctions and the Bronx Bombers Web site. Auction winners will be announced at intermission and on the Web. (Details here.)
Steiner last week also hosted a special Yankees gathering when Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada were together in New York in the Cipriani Grand Ballroom on Wall Street for an event titled An Evening with the Core Four.
Potnuro's background in sports is well-founded. From 1982-2008 he held several executive positions for Anheuser-Busch, including vp-global media and sports marketing and president and CEO for Busch Media Group
According to Kirmser and Ponturo, “We are thrilled to partner with Yankees-Steiner Collectibles and offer Bronx Bombers audiences an exclusive Yankees experience in the Times Square area when they visit Circle in the Square Theatre.”
Bronx Bombers is written and directed by Eric Simonson. The play focuses on Berra (played b Peter Scolari) and his wife Carmen (Tracy Shayne). It takes place over a decade and portrays some of the Yankees' "most pivotal moments and behind-the-scenes tensions on-stage." The show takes a Field of Dreams route as Gehrig died in 1941 and Ruth in 1948, both before Mantle (1951), Jackson (1977) and Jeter (1995) even began to play for the Yankees.
Circle in the Square Theatre is located at West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue.
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