Will Roundabout Save Pal Joey Revival?

News   Will Roundabout Save Pal Joey Revival? The on-again, off-again revival of Pal Joey — featuring a revised book by Richard Greenberg — may be on again.
Christian Hoff
Christian Hoff Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Earlier this week The New York Times reported that the revival, which was aiming for a spring 2008 debut starring Jersey Boys' Christian Hoff, had been postponed. Marc Platt, who was scheduled to produce the Joe Mantello-directed production, told the Times, "This spring the timing is just not right, but hopefully it will happen as soon as it can." Platt added that the postponement was for personal and professional, not financial, reasons. He also said that Mantello and Hoff were still attached to a future production.

The New York Post reports Aug. 1 that the Roundabout Theatre Company may present the revival at Studio 54 in the spring. Producer Platt told the Post, "If the Roundabout does the show, I welcome that, and I will do whatever is asked of me to help them make it happen."

Studio 54 has been the home to a string of revivals, including Cabaret, Assassins, Pacific Overtures, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Touch of the Poet, The Threepenny Opera, The Apple Tree and, most recently, 110 in the Shade starring four-time Tony winner Audra McDonald. The theatre will also welcome revivals of The Ritz in October and Sunday in the Park with George in February 2008.

Pal Joey is based on the stories of John 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. Christian Hoff's Broadway and national tour credits include Jersey Boys (Tony Award), The Who's Tommy and Jesus Christ Superstar. His regional credits include Jersey Boys; The Rocky Horror Show; The Tin Pan Alley Rag; The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas; Violet; and Lone Star Love. Hoff has been seen on screen in "ER," "JAG," "Party of Five," "Millennium," "The Commish," "Honor Thy Mother," "In Love and War," "For the Very First Time" and "Encino Man."