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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at Studio 54

By David Lefkowitz
Published March 11 2008

  The original Pal Joey cast

West Side Story will finally return to Broadway, South Pacific will enjoy its first-ever mainstream revival, the much-delayed British hit, Billy Elliot, will also cross the pond in early fall, while the decade-old Mask will finally get its regional try-out in November.

Add to that list of johnny-come-latelies the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart classic, Pal Joey, which producers have been trying to relaunch for many a moon. According to the New York Times, the Roundabout Theater and co-producer Marc Platt will make the revival happen next fall, with Joey skedded to bounce into Studio 54 (current home of Sunday in the Park with George), Nov. 21 for an official opening Dec. 11.

Initially, the tuner was targeted as a vehicle for Hugh Jackman , though more recent talk has been about Jersey Boys' Chrisitan Hoff starring opposite Stockard Channing. No official word on casting yet, but still attached is director Joe Mantello. (In 2003, the Weisslers had approached film director Robert Altman , but nothing came of it.) Though Matthew Bourne was first slated to choreograph, those duties will now be handled by multiple-Tony nominee Graciela Daniele (Ragtime, The Goodbye Girl).

Gene Kelly was the first Joey when the musical premiered Dec. 25, 1940 at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Three revivals have followed, the last being a 1976 mounting which featured Christopher Chadman as mercenary nightclub singer Joey Evans opposite Dixie Carter's Melba and Joan Copeland's Vera.

Based on short stories by John O'Hara, Pal Joey added such standards to the Broadway showtune canon as Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered and I Could Write a Book. In the tradition of modern-day book tinkering that has included David Henry Hwang revising Flower Drum Song and David Ives goosing Mark Twain's Is He Dead?, Take Me Out Tony-winner Richard Greenberg will tweak Pal Joey for its latest incarnation.



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