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March 10, 2012

DWU musical tickets on sale now at County Fair, college

Rehearsals are underway for DWU’s spring musical, “Damn Yankees!” Jeff Holstein, who plays Joe Hardy – the younger version of Joe Boyd – rehearses a scene with Jenna Callies, who plays Meg, Boyd’s wife. Meg doesn’t know it, but she rented a room to her own husband.

MITCHELL – Baseball, seduction and intrigue – tickets are now on sale for DWU’s spring musical, “Damn Yankees!”

Tickets are on sale for $10 at County Fair Food Store and in the Rollins Campus Center on campus, in Diana Goldammer’s office. Performance dates are 7:30 p.m., March 29-31, and 2 p.m., April 1, in the Sherman Center.

This is DWU’s second musical in almost 20 years, after the nearly sold-out performance of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” last year, a musical that was the DWU stage debut of several students on campus, including this year’s leading man.

Senior Jeff Holstein, 22, of Riverside, Calif., plays the leading role of Joe Hardy, the younger, home-run-hitting alter ego of Joe Boyd, a Washington Senators fan who can’t stand the Yankees. The part calls for singing, brooding, a bit of dancing and baseball jargon, and a little bit of devil-dealing.

The tricky part is reneging on that deal, which is where Mr. Applegate, the Devil in disguise, comes in, played by Monty Bohrer, associate professor of business. Assisting Mr. Applegate is Brooke Warne, a DWU senior from Rapid City, playing Lola, whose main purpose is to try to seduce Joe into forgetting about home.

Holstein wasn’t familiar with the musical before trying out, other than the song, “What Lola Wants, Lola Gets,” so when people ask him what the musical is about he said, “I tell them that it’s the typical story where the main character sells his soul to the devil in order to make his favorite baseball team win the pennant.”

There’s a little more to it than just that.

“So the devil turns (Joe) into the greatest baseball player in the world and puts him on his favorite team. After being on the road and winning game after game, he realizes there’s something more than being a hero and that’s love; the love of his wife was all he really needed.”

DWU senior Jeff Holstein, Riverside, Calif., second from right, made his DWU stage debut in last year’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as one of the brothers. Holstein was convinced to try out by best friend Chris Ferera, far right, of San Clemente, Calif. Also shown, from left to right, Kyle Miskimins, Devin Carey, both of Mitchell, and Tanner LaVallier ’11.

Holstein transferred to DWU last year as a junior and is a student athlete on the track team, in Wesleyan Choir and a member of the Student Activities Board. He hasn’t been in a musical since his sophomore year of high school but when fellow Californian, DWU senior Chris Ferera, asked him to try out for last year’s musical of “Joseph,” he not only landed the part of one of his many brothers, but he and Ferera became two actors audiences talked about long after.

“Doing a play with one of my best friends was one of the incentives,” Holstein said about coming back to theatre. “I was really tentative to do it, but after meeting all the enthusiastic people in theatre and Dan Miller, the theatre professor, making the decision was easy. Dan and his family have really welcomed me to the program and I’d like to consider them my family away from home. He is very passionate about his work and being a part of it is a pleasure, which is another reason why I decided to do it.”

Holstein was nervous trying out because he doesn’t think of himself as a singer, but is having fun with the process. He said that Dr. Clint Desmond, DWU choral director, deserves credit for helping him get his vocal chords in as good of shape as his acting chops.

“This will be my third DWU production after I played Banquo in ‘Macbeth’ this fall (and ‘Joseph’ last year). My only regret is that I didn’t come to DWU sooner because I would have loved to be in more productions.”

He’s a serious student and athlete but truly appreciates the arts.

“(I think) the administration has given us a lot of freedom to produce our plays and they have been generous supporters as well,” Holstein said about the last two years. “I think the biggest contributor to the ‘Art’s’ success though is the Mitchell community. Mitchell is very supportive of the arts and they show it by their attendance, sometimes they even come out and act in our shows. You couldn’t have a more supportive community than Mitchell.”

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