On the face of it, the lack of great sporting plays is a mystery. Sport and theater have so much in common, beginning with the division of the drama into acts. But successful sports plays are few and far between and, once you take out the likes of Golden Boy, successful team sports plays are even fewer. Even baseball, loaded with so many national myths, has been traditionally a box-office bust: When Damn Yankees opened on Broadway in 1955, the producers took a picture of Gwen Verdon in cap, glove, and striped shirt, with her bottom peeking out very fetchingly from underneath. They stuck it on the posters, and no one came. So they threw the old posters out and put up some new ones with Gwen in a revealing basque. Everyone came. Hal Prince, the producer, concluded that theater audiences had no interest in baseball, and therefore, if you had a show about baseball, the best thing to do was obscure the fact. Even those with a foot in both...


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