Bourne is one of the world’s most commercially successful contemporary choreographers, having broken West End and Broadway records with his famous reinterpretation of Swan Lake, and his many hit dance shows (mostly reworked classics) include Highland Fling and Nutcracker!. He co-directed Mary Poppins alongside Richard Eyre.
Pal Joey is based on the stories of John O'Hara (the libretto is by O'Hara), focusing on a charming heel who dreams of owning a Chicago nightclub and finds himself caught between a nice girl and a middle-aged benefactress.The show was notable for featuring an anti-hero (and anti-heroine) whose behavior clashed with the conventions of musical comedies: He's selfish and doesn't necessarily get the girl.
In recent years, librettists, directors and producers have tried to revise the material for a production that might stick. The show has been revived regionally for successful local productions. Christine Andreas won a Barrymore Award Oct. 27, for the 2002-03 revival that played Philadelphia's Prince Music Theatre. She played seen-it-all Vera, whose new toy is sexy young Joey.
Pal Joey's longest run was a 542-performance revival in 1952, starring Harold Lang as Joey, a part that was created on Broadway in 1940 by a young Gene Kelly, who soon became a Hollywood star. Vivienne Segal played the middle-aged sugar mama, Vera, in 1940 and 1952. Bob Fosse starred in the City Center revival in 1961. The Rodgers and Hart score includes "I Could Write a Book," "What Is a Man?," "Zip," "Pal Joey," "Happy Hunting Horn," "Chicago," "That Terrific Rainbow," "The Flower Garden of My Heart," "Den of Iniquity," "Plant You Now, Dig You Later" and "Take Him."