Bull Durham Begins Rehearsals in Atlanta

Bull Durham at the Alliance Theatre

Will Swenson, John Behlmann, Joe Tippett, and Susan Werner (music & lyrics) with additional cast members on the first day of rehearsals for BULL DURHAM. Photo by John Maley

Rehearsals started today for the Alliance Theatre’s upcoming world premiere BULL DURHAM, a new musical based on the beloved 1988 film, which Sports Illustrated proclaimed to be the “#1 Greatest Sports Movie of All-time.”  Directed by Kip Fagan (Off-Broadway: The Revisionist), BULL DURHAM has a book by Academy Award-nominee Ron Shelton (director and screenwriter of the Bull Durham movie) and music and lyrics by Susan Werner, whom the Chicago Tribune called, “one of the most innovative songwriters working today.”

BULL DURHAM, loosely based on Ron Shelton’s experiences on and off the field with a Minor League Baseball team, tells the story of three lives brought together by America’s two favorite pastimes.  Veteran catcher “Crash” Davis has been brought to the Durham Bulls to prepare rookie Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh, a hot rod pitcher with a “million dollar arm and a five cent head,” for the majors. Annie Savoy, self-appointed high priestess and muse of the Bulls, has a hard decision to make – every season she transforms one lucky player from an also-ran to an all-star by sharing with them her wisdom, experience, and bed.  The love triangle heats up quickly as each character struggles with their own desires and hopes for what the future holds.  BULL DURHAM is a pitch perfect blend of comedy, drama, and steamy romance.

Bull Durham Alliance Theatre

The cast and creative team on the first day of rehearsals for BULL DURHAM. Photo by John Maley

Broadway veterans John Behlmann, Melissa Errico, and Will Swenson will star as the Veteran catcher “Crash” Davis (Swenson), rookie pitcher Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh (Behlmann) and Annie Savoy (Errico).  John Behlmann made his Broadway debut in the Tony award winning Journey’s End and has starred in the Tony nominated play The 39 Steps. Melissa Errico is a Tony Award nominee for her work in Amour. She was seen Off-Broadway as Clara in the recent revival of Passion and has a recurring role on Stephen Soderbergh’s upcoming Cinemax series The Knick. Will Swenson can currently be seen as Inspector Javert on Broadway in Les Misérables and is a Tony award nominee for his work in Hair.

Also joining the cast in principal roles – Brent Bateman as Larry Hockett, Jake Boyd as Jimmy, Lora Lee Gayer (Broadway: Follies) as Millie, Jordan Gelber (Broadway: Elf) as Joe “Skip” Riggins, Joel Hatch (Broadway: Annie) as Max Patkin, Manuel Herrera (Broadway: West Side Story) as Jose, John Clarence Stewart (Alliance: Choir Boy, The Whipping Man) as Deke, and Joe Tippet as Hack Arnold.

Alliance Theatre

Director Kip Fagan on the first day of rehearsals for BULL DURHAM. Photo by John Maley

The creative team includes Emmy Award-winning choreographer Joshua Bergasse (TV: Smash, So You Think You Can Dance), Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter (Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher), Tony Award-nominated Sound Designer Peter Hylenski (Broadway: After Midnight), Tony Award-winning Scenic Designer Derek McLane (Broadway: Beautiful – The Carol King Musical, Anything Goes), Tony Award-nominated Costume Designer Toni-Leslie James (Broadway: Lucky Guy) and Music Director Jason DeBord (Broadway: Shrek The Musical).

Performances for BULL DURHAM are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:30 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm, September 3 – October 5, 2014.  Opening Night is September 13, 2014, at 8:00 pm. There will be no 2:30 pm performance on September 6.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office in person or by calling 404.733.5000.  Tickets are also available online at www.alliancetheatre.org/bulldurham.  Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690.  Discounted rates are also available for members of the military, seniors, and students.  The Alliance Theatre is located at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street.

Atlanta's Alliance Theatre

Costume Designer Toni-Leslie James on the first day of rehearsals for BULL DURHAM. Photo by John Maley

BULL DURHAM is part of the Coca-Cola Series on the Alliance Stage.  BULL DURHAM is also supported by The Home Depot Foundation.


Honoring Billye and Hank Aaron

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cocktail Dinner, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm; Performance, 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm; Cast Party, 10:30 pm – midnight

Join the Alliance Theatre on September 13 to celebrate the start of our 2014/15 Season! The Season Opening Celebration benefits the Alliance Theatre’s programs for youth and families.  The Alliance Theatre is pleased to honor Billye and Hank Aaron for their generous philanthropic contributions to the Atlanta community, and specifically for their deep commitment to youth educational programming.  The Aarons founded the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, which provides young people in Atlanta and throughout the nation an opportunity to develop their skills, nurture their passions, and pursue their academic goals.  Guests will enjoy a cocktail dinner at the Woodruff Arts Center, followed by the opening night performance of the new musical BULL DURHAM.  Patrons are invited to the Post-show Cast Party.  Patron Sponsorships start at $1,000.  Limited Individual Tickets are available for $250 each (and include the cocktail dinner and performance only).  Corporate sponsorships start at $2,500.  For more information please contact Bryan Saxon at bryan.saxon@woodruffcenter.org or 404.733.5186.



Trace and the Alliance Stage

September 4, 2014 – October 2, 2014, 6:00 pm

Enjoy a prix fixe dinner at Trace and a Thursday evening performance of BULL DURHAM for one low price.  On Thursday nights during the run of BULL DURHAM, $55* gets you one ticket to see the show and dinner at Trace (located at the W Hotel Atlanta-Midtown, 188 14th St NE). Your dinner will include a choice of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert from a select chef’s menu. Use Promo Code TRACE when purchasing online at www.alliancetheatre.org/bulldurham or through our box office at 404.733.5000.  Dinner is at 6:00 p.m. and BULL DURHAM begins at 7:30 p.m.

*Available Thursday evenings September 3–October 5. Tax and fees are included. Not valid on previously purchased tickets or in combination with any other offers. Subject to availability. Gratuity and beverages are not included.



Join the Alliance Theatre for Durham Bulls Hat & T-Shirt Nights—the first 100 fans to show their BULL DURHAM tickets for that night’s show will receive a complimentary Durham Bulls hat or t-shirt.*

T-Shirt & Hat Nights

  • Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, September 5 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 10 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, September 12 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 13 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 16 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m.

*While supplies last—giveaways are not guaranteed. All items will be given away one hour prior to curtain time. This offer is valid only for specified performances and for ticketholders for those performances.