Naked Stage Productions actor and artistic director Ed Milaney outside Newton Cultural Centre, where he’ll perform the solo show “Nobody Don’t Like Yogi” from June 8 to 10. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

In Surrey, a baseball-loving actor pitches solo show about Yogi Berra

Ed Milaney, a local Civic Treasure, to tell tale of Yankees legend at Newton Cultural Centre

Spring is a perfect time for a baseball-themed theatre show, and Ed Milaney figured he’d make his pitch to do one solo, a one-man monologue.

The end result is a Naked Stage Productions Society reading of Nobody Don’t Like Yogi, which will star Milaney alone in the spotlight at Newton Cultural Centre for a run from June 8 to 10.

Milaney is the outgoing artistic director of Naked Stage, a company devoted to “readers theatre” productions at the venue on 72nd Avenue.

“I don’t know if this show’s been done in Surrey, it just intrigued me,” Milaney, a Surrey Civic Treasure award winner with more than 50 years of stage experience, told the Now-Leader.

“This is something new for me, brand new, because I directed six shows in a year and a half (for Naked Stage), so I felt I earned the right to indulge myself, because six shows in that amount of time is a lot,” he added with a characteristic laugh.

• RELATED STORY: Theatre/music lovers bring ‘Naked Stage’ to Newton Cultural Centre, from June 2016.

Milaney chose to dig into a play set in the clubhouse of the “cathedral of baseball,” Yankee Stadium.

The script, not surprisingly, follows the adventures of New York Yankees great Yogi Berra, who in 1999 returned to the legendary Bronx stadium following a 14-year absence.

“Of course, I’m an old baseball fan and grew up watching the Yankees play the Dodgers in the World Series, and I always rooted against the Yankees but you couldn’t root against Yogi Berra,” Milaney explained.

“It’s just fun, he’s a nice character, a fun character. He wasn’t very well-educated and, as we know, he mutilated the English language, but he was actually brilliant when it came to baseball. He didn’t have much knowledge in anything else, though.”

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO, FROM 2011)

Milaney suggested that a baseball fan will appreciate Tom Lysaght’s Nobody Don’t Like Yogi script more than a non-fan.

“Berra had that great big, long feud with (Yankees owner) George Steinbrenner, and he avoided Yankee Stadium for a lot of years,” he explained. “So this story is told on the day he comes back. He threw out the first pitch, and Don Larsen was there, the guy he caught during his perfect game in the World Series years before that, and that night, that game (in 1999), the Yankees pitcher threw a no-hitter, so it was kind of full-circle, but the play itself is a reflection of (Berra’s) life, as well.”

As with all Naked Stage productions, only a script and chair will be made available to Milaney – no costume or set required. A “naked” stage serves as a sort of blank canvas for the company’s actors to do their thing.

“I’m talking to characters all around,” Milaney explained, “and the biggest adjustment I had to make, because actors are used to working off of each other, and I’m rehearsing and suddenly I realize I’m not working off anybody, I have to take that extra step myself. I can do it, but it just surprised me that it needed to be done. I should have realized that, but didn’t. We learn.”

Nobody Don’t Like Yogi is the first solo show for Naked Stage, which has done eight productions at the Newton venue since the company was launched in 2016.

• RELATED STORY: Well-knit tale of Habs hockey legend plays ‘naked’ on Surrey stage, from March 2018.

Last time around, for a mid-March run, an entertaining production of Jacques Plante and the Parkdale Knitting League was directed by Colleen McGoff Dean, who will assume Milaney’s role as the company’s artistic director, moving forward.

“This will be my last show with this group, officially,” Milaney said. “It’s just time for someone else to take over my job, and I’ve done my thing, and enjoyed it.”

Tickets are $15 for Nobody Don’t Like Yogi, to be performed on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, June 10 at 2 p.m. The venue is located at 13530 72nd Ave., Surrey. To purchase tickets online, visit yogi.brownpapertickets.com.

Under McGoff Dean’s artistic direction, Naked Stage’s 2018-2019 season will include productions of The Savannah Sipping Club (in September), Waiting for the Parade (November), Alabama Story (March) and Trying (June).

“Specific dates for each production will be announced this summer,” the company notes. “Check our website (nakedstage.net) for details. Better yet, sign up for our mailing list and be among the first to know about our upcoming production dates and other events.”

Auditions for the next season be held Sunday, July 29, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Newton Cultural Centre. For more details, contact Colleen McGoff Dean (colleenswrpc@gmail.com).



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

Vancouver Giants couldn’t find the net: coach

Even with a six-on-three advantage, the Langley-based hockey team couldn’t earn points Sunday.

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Most Read