Baseball drama 'Bronx Bombers' goes to bat on Broadway

Fri Feb 7, 2014 6:33pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Broadway's newest sports-based play, "Bronx Bombers," opened to mixed reviews on Friday, with some critics praising the casting of the New York Yankees drama and others wondering if it will hit any home runs beyond the hometown fans.

Written and directed by Eric Simonson, who also penned the football play "Lombardi" and the basketball drama "Magic Bird," "Bronx Bombers" focuses on difficult times during the 1977 baseball season when locker-room rivalries threatened to tear the team apart.

The play, which opened at the Circle in the Square theater on Thursday after some fine tuning following an off-Broadway run, also features a dream sequence with long-departed Yankee greats including Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

"The formerly bipolar halves of the show - part drama, part dream sequence - now fit better together," said the New York Daily News newspaper.

But the New York Post called it "a shamelessly reverent love letter to the Yankees - or rather the myths the Yankees built around themselves."

The New York Times was more positive, describing the play as "an affectionate celebration of Yankee greatness." But while NBC News acknowledged the tuned-up Broadway version was better than before, it thought it was still dubiously crafted.

"'Bronx Bombers' is a jock drama that will appeal to any Yankee fanatic, but leave others restless in the bleachers," it said.