Hilliard Davidson High School thespians will dance back to the 1950s when fanatical baseball fan Joe Boyd sells his soul to smooth-talking Mr. Applegate to keep those damn Yankees from winning the pennant again.

Hilliard Davidson High School thespians will dance back to the 1950s when fanatical baseball fan Joe Boyd sells his soul to smooth-talking Mr. Applegate to keep those damn Yankees from winning the pennant again.

Performances of Damn Yankees are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at Davidson High School, 5100 Davidson Road. Reserved $10 seats are available for the Friday and Saturday performances only of the musical comedy, and the Sunday show will be $5 general admission. Tickets may be reserved by calling 614-921-7200 or by visiting the website davidsontheatre. com.

Directed by Trace Crawford, the story follows Joe's transformation into a young Joe Hardy after he sells his soul. Hardy becomes the new long-ball hitter for the Senators, his favorite baseball team.

Crawford said the musical has been one of the most successful in history, with not only successful Broadway and West End runs in the 1950s, but also a hit revival in the 1990s, a theatrical movie and a made-for-television movie with Phil Silvers, along with a Broadway Encores production in 2008.

"There was even a new motion picture put into production, although plans are currently on hold, starring Jim Carrey as Applegate and Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe," Crawford said.

More than 100 students are in the cast, stage crew and orchestra, he said.

Selected students in the cast are Chris King as Joe; Adam White as Applegate; Regan Frese as Lola; Allison Akerman as Meg; and Abbey Bumbledare as Gloria.

Other featured performers are Dylan Bean, Carl Burgason, Tim Byrer, Mark Hiller, Sam McTurner, Carlie Myers, Bryan O'Reilly, Emily Prior and Logan Solana.

Technical direction is by Diana Vance and musical direction is by Carole Bundy and Kristin Long. Orchestra direction is by Mark Sholl, with choreography by Scott Brown.

Crawford said the production is the final musical for Bundy and Vance, who both will retire at the end of the school year.

Vance said she has been with Hilliard schools for 37 years, teaching English and theater. She was the performing arts department facilitator for more than 20 years.

She said Bundy has been with the district for close to 30 years.

"Carole was a student here when I began teaching," Vance said.

Vance said Damn Yankees is "classic Americana."

"Despite the damn in the title, the musical is appropriate from third grade up," she said. "The songs are wonderful. Most people know the songs Whatever Lola Wants and Heart. They are songs that are a part of our culture."

She said in choosing the shows, the directors brainstorm by "looking at the talent."

"With our musicals, we always look for a show that will have a large chorus, because we want to have a lot of kids involved in it," Vance said. "Competition for leads and speaking parts is intense, but if you want to be in the chorus, you are more than welcome."

As technical director, Vance also helps with choir concerts and orchestra concerts. She said she is too busy right now to worry about what she will do after she retires.

"I still have a lot of stuff to get through before I hang up my shingle," she said. "I want to finish up on the same level I always have. I probably will do something in the theater after I retire; I think theater is in my blood."

Vance said her job is very physical, often climbing up and down ladders.

"I hope they bring in some young person to do my job," she said.