Best Musical - 2003
St. Louis Black Repertory Company
The Black Rep really knows how to wind up a season. Last year they went out strong with the ebullient Bubbling Brown Sugar. This year they outdid even that with Damn Yankees! In the Black Rep's hands, this timeworn musical about the Devil's attempt to claim a baseball lover's soul was sinfully entertaining. In addition to its high-voltage energy, the show veritably oozed bonhomie. J. Samuel Davis, who usually plays leads in Black Rep productions, came along for the ride in a supporting role -- and seemed to have a ball doing it. As the crusty manager, Drummond Crenshaw had a blast acting with his daughter Rheaume, who portrayed the nosy newspaper reporter. In a production that was a triumph of imagination realized, Damn Yankees! was an unbeatable team effort.