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 thesps Francois 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 by Eric 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.