West Fargo High School hits a home run with ‘Damn Yankees’

This show was worthy of the World Series finals from open to close

Most of the ensemble looks on at a pivotal moment in “Damn Yankees.”

With a beautiful and detailed set, “Damn Yankees” steals the show and the hearts of the attendees. As the pit orchestra starts producing their melodious tunes there is curiosity.

They play two songs before anyone enters the scene which I find very interesting. I can’t recall another time I saw a show where they allowed us the overture before diving right in. It was a lovely reflective time and reminded me of my all-time favorite musical, “My Fair Lady.”

The costumes, makeup and hair were all exceptional which is nothing less than what I have come to expect from director Bryce Henrickson. I should mention I have attended every West Fargo High theatre production for the last two and a half years. There is not one show led by Bryce that has let me down.

“Damn Yankees” came in with the bar set high. They reached it rather successfully, knocking the ball right out of the park, pun fully intended.

I am often wowed by choreography alone as I tend to see so many things that I myself was never taught to do. In this instance, I was positively blown away. In the song “Shoeless Joe,” the liveliness and energy given off was incredible.

A little busy in the middle if anything but not at all bad. The entire musical gave you things to look at that absolutely demanded your attention–it definitely got mine.

Vocals are something I myself am critical of. I had a choir director in high school who is one of the best teachers that I have ever known. They emphasized the attention to even the more subtle details. Because of her instruction, I notice breath support issues and pitch absences. There were absolutely none.

If anyone in the ensemble felt that something went wrong, they played it off so well that I and the rest of the crowd are still none the wiser. Parker Degerness and Eva Fitz had a duet and each had a solo as well. They were absolutely beautiful and I was completely enthralled.

Speaking of individual roles, I want to note that every single person in the show overwhelmingly impressed me with their dedication to their role. Character acting is such an important skill that I believe every theatre person needs to have. Henrickson must feel the same way because those actors and actresses were living and breathing their roles.

One thing that I love is when everyone can tell that an actor feels comfortable in their role. Here, Degerness and Fitz won even more points. They were given roles that could make someone blush and they lived up to them beautifully.

Degerness had witty and biting-one-off comments that rolled off his tongue as easy as a greeting. Fitz stepped into the role of a master manipulator and shied away from nothing.

I wish I had been able to see the show again and again. I have often attended other West Fargo High shows multiple times so this would not be unusual. However, once will have to be enough.

It was incredible and attention-grabbing from start to finish. There was not a single dull moment where I felt compelled to look at the ceiling, as my attention is easily lost. I’ll be ready in the winter for you, West Fargo High. I have a feeling you won’t strikeout.

Next up:

Fargo North High School: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

November 21, 22, & 23 at 7:30 p.m.

November 24 at 2 p.m.

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