Reinking To Do Pal Joey Dances, Casting Due in June

News   Reinking To Do Pal Joey Dances, Casting Due in June
 
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. Livent's Garth Drabinsky told Playbill On-Line that some casting was in place for a late-summer reading in Toronto, but that he couldn't reveal any names. Galati, meanwhile, said that the musical's new libretto was not yet finished and when McNally turns in a script -- possibly in June -- talk about casting would begin.

A first reading of the show is scheduled to take place at Livent's Fifth Annual Summer Festival of New Works at York University this summer. A first, out-of-town production, in a city to be announced, is anticipated by the end of 1999.

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. 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).

Livent's revised Pal Joey will 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.

In addition to her work on Pal Joey, Reinking is serving as co-director and co-choreographer for Fosse: A Celebration in Song and Dance, opening in Toronto July 16, also under Livent's auspices.

By Mira Friedlander
Canada Correspondent -- By Robert Viagas
and Robert Simonson

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