re: PAL JOEY revisal
Last Edit: PlayWiz 12:14 pm EDT 10/04/21
Posted by: PlayWiz 12:05 pm EDT 10/04/21
In reply to: PAL JOEY revisal - showtunetrivia 11:30 am EDT 10/04/21

Have been listening lately to the Ella Fitzgerald Rodgers & Hart Songbook, and that's one of the best of her songbooks series, with Ella in top form and great orchestrations. Hart's lyrics are so witty and at times incredibly deep and moving, and can in turn be absolutely breathtaking, along with Rodgers' ability to meld a wonderful melody along with them. Now, "Pal Joey" actually has a wonderful score and if done right, a perfectly fine book. I skipped the last Broadway production, but did see it in London years ago, and it played very well indeed. I agree with Laura that this new production could be wonderful or disappointing. I rather hope they are judicious in terms of putting in other R&H songs, as it doesn't really need much to flesh it out. Joey and Vera Simpson have their showcase numbers. Linda English could be built up somewhat as a contrast, since she's the only really sweet person in the show. But Joey and Vera were the real revelations of the original show -- a real heel who's pretty hot with the ladies, and a lady who wants to let loose sexually with a stud with no other real redeeming qualities; that is, it's a lark for her for a while as long as it suits her. Characters like that were original on the Broadway stage, and hopefully this production won't diminish them or their impact. Someone like Hinton Battle could have knocked this out of the park years ago, or with more traditional casting, over the years Gene Nelson or Michael Berresse seem to be missed opportunities. Perhaps Corbin Bleu, who really danced up a storm in "Holiday Inn" might fit the bill, though he might have to rein in his very likeability to play the sometimes charming louse Joey.

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