Livent Pal Joey Gets Creative Team and Summer '98 Reading

News   Livent Pal Joey Gets Creative Team and Summer '98 Reading
 
Chicago's Ann Reinking will join Ragtime's director Frank Galati and librettist Terrence McNally on the creative team of a planned revival of Rodgers & Hart's Pal Joey.

Chicago's Ann Reinking will join Ragtime's director Frank Galati and librettist Terrence McNally on the creative team of a planned revival of Rodgers & Hart's Pal Joey.

The revival is being produced by the Toronto-based Livent Inc. (Ragtime, Show Boat), which announced the creative team in The New York Times.

The 1940 musical is based on the John O'Hara short stories about a small time gigolo with big dreams of owning his own nightclub -- funded by his wealthy "benefactress." The score includes "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "In Our Den of Iniquity" and "Zip," but the Times reported that Livent had acquired rights to the entire Rodgers & Hart songbook and would incorporate other of their songs into the revival. No titles were mentioned.

The new songs will be chosen to fit McNally's revised book. McNally wrote the libretto to Kiss of the Spider Woman. His plays include Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, and Lips Together, Teeth Apart. The original Pal Joey script was written by O'Hara and George Abbott.

No casting for the crucial title role has been announced, nor other casting. The original Broadway production starred Gene Kelly, and launched him to his Hollywood career. A 1952 revival saw Bob Fosse in the title role. A film version starred Frank Sinatra (though minus much of the score). The Times reported that Livent's revised Pal Joey would get a reading this summer at the Festival of New Musicals at York University in Toronto. The first pre-Broadway production will be mounted in a city TBA in late 1999, which points to a Broadway production in 2000. Nearly all Livent shows have played Toronto before NY.

-- By Robert Viagas

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