Will Hugh Jackman Become Broadway's New Pal Joey?

News   Will Hugh Jackman Become Broadway's New Pal Joey?
 
Stage and screen star Hugh Jackman, who scored rave reviews and a Tony Award for his Broadway debut in The Boy From Oz, is reportedly planning a return to The Great White Way in the classic musical Pal Joey.
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The New York Post reports that Jackman will likely star in a revival of the Rodgers and Hart musical in spring 2007. The New York daily says that Wicked producer Marc Platt has secured the rights to the musical, which originally bowed on Broadway in 1940.

Platt, says the Post, has already lined up his award-winning Wicked director, Joe Mantello, to helm the production, and choreography will be supplied by Swan Lake's Matthew Bourne. Richard Greenberg, the Tony-winning Take Me Out playwright, will adapt John O'Hara's original script.

Pal Joey is based on the stories of 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.

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s Pal Joey opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Christmas night 1940 with a cast that included Vivienne Segal and Gene Kelly. The Rodgers and Hart score boasts such tunes as "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," "Take Him" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." The most recent New York staging of Pal Joey was presented by City Center Encores! That weekend of concerts featured Peter Gallagher in the title role with Tony-winning actress Patti LuPone as Vera.

Hugh Jackman received a Tony Award for his portrayal of the late Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz. He received an Olivier Award nomination for his work in the London revival of Oklahoma! and an MO Award for his performance as Joe Gillis in the Australian production of Sunset Boulevard. Jackman's film credits include "The X-Men," "Someone Like You," "Swordfish," "Kate and Leopold" (Golden Globe nomination) and "Van Helsing."

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