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Is 'Bronx Bombers' a bomb?

Richard Topol as Yogi Berra in the Primary

Richard Topol as Yogi Berra in the Primary Stages production of Bronx Bombers at The Duke on 42nd Street. (Credit: James Leynse)

“Bronx Bombers,’’ the latest from the sports-minded producers who brought you “Lombardi’’ and “Magic/Bird,’’ ends its off-Broadway run Saturday night and still is aiming for a Broadway premiere early in 2014.

The plan is tweak the show – and add other elements, including video – after what it called its “spring training’’ at The Duke on 42nd Street.

Is it worth the effort? Maybe. Writer/director Eric Simonson works hard at the difficult task of bringing based-on-reality sports stories to the stage, but . . . well, like I said, it’s difficult.

The action centers around the notorious dugout confrontation between Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson at Fenway Park on June 18, 1977, with an extended Yogi Berra’s-dream-sequence featuring visits from Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard and the still-with-us Derek Jeter.

It is difficult to explain, and I’m not sure you want me to. It is equal parts strange and corny, and while some actors nail their subjects – notably Bill Dawes as both Thurman Munson and Mantle – the quality of the portrayals is uneven.

The sweet spot target audience might be casual sports fans such as Mrs. WatchDog, who enjoyed the dreamy second act. Non-sports fans won't know what is going on, and won't care. Avid sports fans won't learn much, if anything.

Is the show awful? Not necessarily. But it is something perhaps worse: pointless.

Tags: Broadway , Yankees

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