Beguiled, Again: Risch Is Pal Joey on Nov. 24

News   Beguiled, Again: Risch Is Pal Joey on Nov. 24
 
Matthew Risch will continue playing the title role in Broadway's Pal Joey for the added Monday, Nov. 24 performance at Studio 54 following a busy weekend for the actor. He stepped into the Saturday, Nov. 22 evening performance after star Christian Hoff sustained a foot injury on Friday.

Matthew Risch
Matthew Risch

According to Roundabout Theatre Company, Hoff hurt his foot Nov. 21, necessitating a canceled Saturday, Nov. 22 matinee. Risch stepped into the role Saturday night and Sunday.

Risch, previously part of the ensemble of the Joe Mantello-directed Rodgers and Hart musical, attended College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, which has a respected musical theatre program. He appeared as Carlos in Broadway's Legally Blonde (understudying the role of Warner) and was Sgt. Fogarty and Fred Casely in Broadway's Chicago. He toured as Levi in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

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"Due to a minor foot injury sustained during last night's (Friday) performance, Christian Hoff has been advised by his doctor to rest through the weekend," according to a statement released late on Nov. 22. "We hope he will be back early next week."

The new revised revival of the 1940 musical by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, John O'Hara and new book writer Richard Greenberg stars Hoff (a Tony Award winner for Jersey Boys) as a Chicago nightclub hoofer with dreams of owning his own joint. His ticket to that goal is a rich married lady (played by Tony winner Stockard Channing) who is bewitched, bothered and bewildered by him. Previews began Nov. 14 toward a Dec. 11 opening.

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Tony-winning director Joe Mantello (Assassins, Wicked, Take Me Out) stages the new production. Tony nominee Martha Plimpton (Top Girls) plays Gladys Bumps, a club performer.

The new Greenberg script based on O'Hara's original (and on O'Hara's short stories) reinvents some scenes, situations and characters, and some songs by composer Rodgers and lyricist Hart have been reassigned or restored.

Audiences can expect to hear a song for Joey that was cut prior to the 1940 Broadway premiere (it's called "I'm Talking to My Pal"). Also interpolated into this revival (according to the Playbill of the first preview) are the Rodgers & Hart songs "Are You My Love?" from the 1936 film "Dancing Pirate" and "I Still Believe in You" from the 1930 musical Simple Simon.

Pal Joey is a limited engagement through Feb. 15, 2009. The musical is produced in association with Marc Platt.

Music direction by is Tony Award winner Paul Gemignani, with choreography by Tony nominee Graciela Daniele (Ragtime).

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