'Steinbrenner' Examines 'The Boss' of the Yankees at Guild Hall
A staged reading of the play “Steinbrenner,” which is based on the 2010 book “Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball” by Mr. Madden, is set for Sunday at Guild Hall.
Ira Berkow and Bill Madden have spent the last four years perfecting a play about the late George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees baseball team who often seemed larger than life.
A staged reading of the play “Steinbrenner,” which is based on the 2010 book “Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball” by Mr. Madden, is set for Sunday at Guild Hall in East Hampton Village. Richard Kind, of “Gotham” and “Spin City” fame, will star as Mr. Steinbrenner after having read the part twice during productions at New York City’s Roundabout Theatre. Zach Grenier (“The Good Wife,” “Fight Club”), Catherine Curtin (“Orange Is the New Black”), Duane McLaughlin (“As the World Turns”), Marc Coffin, and Danny Fischer will also read in the show.
Richard Kind will play the title role in a staged reading of “Steinbrenner” at Guild Hall. The play is about the legendary owner of the New York Yankees.
For years, Mr. Berkow and Mr. Madden had been friendly competitors as writers for The New York Times and The Daily News, respectively. Mr. Berkow congratulated Mr. Madden for a job well done on his book about Mr. Steinbrenner and suggested it might make a fantastic drama, at which point Mr. Madden suggested they work together.
“We combined our knowledge, which covers more than 50 years,” Mr. Berkow said the other day. “We wanted to tell a good, dramatic, compelling, entertaining story with humor, with pathos, and with insight. It’s the evolution of, essentially, an American icon.”
Mr. Steinbrenner bought the Yankees for $10 million in 1973 and embarked on what some have described as a “monomaniacal” quest to raise the once-great team back up to its former glory. His tactics were often controversial, but they paid off. The Yankees won seven world series under his watch and today are worth more than $1 billion.
The reading at Guild Hall is not merely a chance for the two writers to engage an audience in an experience: It also represents a turning point for the play itself. Mr. Berkow, who has won a Pulitzer Prize and also wrote the acclaimed documentary “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story,” said the performance on Sunday would be the first for which tickets would be sold rather than given away for free, as was done for the two readings at the Roundabout Theatre.
“It’s really going to be exciting in Guild Hall,” Mr. Berkow said. “Richard Kind is nothing short of sensational. . . . He makes Steinbrenner come alive with all the passion, all the fury, all the humor, all the complexities. Steinbrenner was a very complex man, and that was one of the challenges, to get this complexity.”
The show is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tickets range from $28 to $50 and are available by calling 324-0806, at the box office at Guild Hall, or online at GuildHall.org and theatermania.com.