Pal Joey Broadway - Years Don’t Dilute Music

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pal joey broadway link

Studio 54 Theater

254 West 54th Street


December 11, 2008 (Closing on 15 Feb 2009)

Broadway Musical

History :: Now Playing :: Schedule :: Reviews


Wed Sat Sun 2pm

Tue through Sat 8pm

One of the longest surviving musicals in Broadway, Pal Joey, is back again. Roundabout Theatre Company is bringing a slightly different version of this 1940 classic. The first screening is scheduled on December at Studio 54. Despite a number of adaptations and re-runs, the musical still has a special place among the Broadway aficionados. All the songs in the play are worth hearing again and again. But, the songs “I could write a book” and “Bewitched, bothered and bewildered” stand apart for their lyrical beauty and free flowing music.

The History Of Pal Joey Broadway

Pal Joey was first staged in Broadway on the Christmas Day of 1940. The Second World War had started to erupt. But the war did not diminish the popularity of the musical. At the Ethel Barrymore Theater, where it was premiered, it ran for a then record of 374 performances. The musical was based on a series of short stories written by John O’Hara. Although the stories had not attracted much acclaim, critical or otherwise, the musical made out of them became an instant success among most of the critics and lay persons. The music and lyrics of the musical were created by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. George Abbot, who also wrote the screen play in the absence of John O’Heera, directed the play in 1940.

The premier of Pal Joey Broadway was spectacular. The songs were on everybody’s lips. A majority of the audience were well and truly bewitched. The reviews, barring a few, extolled the “brilliance” of this “breakthrough” musical. It was so successful that a movie was made based on this story, in which Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, and Kim Novak played the lead roles. The musical was somewhat different in that the hero was not a conventional “do good” type. He was an ambitious and selfish young man. He was frequently attracted to women and women more often than not to his lustily wandering eyes. In the play, the hero had affairs with the two main women. But his main and perhaps the only aim is to start a night club of his own. The story, which deviated from the traditional sense of heroic virtuousness in many counts, attracted huge popularity.

The second avatar of Pal Joey Broadway was in 1952. It was staged at Broadhurst Theater. It enjoyed considerable success, in fact an even better record than the first, in its second innings. The first show was on January 3, 1952. It ran for 540 performances and closed on April 18, 1953. It was the largest running streak for any musical in its revival staging.

It was produced twice at West End, London’s answer to Broadway: in 1954 and later in 1980. In 1963, it was performed at City Centre in an off-Broadway staging. It ran there for 15 performances. It came back to Broadway in 1976 at Circle in Square Theater, which ran for 73 performances. Two revised versions of the musical were performed in 1992 and 1995. So, this year’s version provides another opportunity to revisit the classic.

At present you can buy tickets for Pal Joey Broadway screening from many outlets including the internet. But it is always cost-effective and safe to buy tickets from an authorized dealer.

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