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Last night (December 18), Rodger’s and Hart’s “Pal Joey” opened at Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54 and the early reviews are raves.  Links to the full reviews follow first paragraphs.  For more information about “Pal Joey” go to: www.roundabouttheatre.org


Associated Press

Bloomberg News


WOR Radio


Nearly 70 years after an unrepentant cad named Joey Evans first graced a Broadway stage in “Pal Joey,” he’s back, with his ambition and charm intact.  The musical, featuring a vintage Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart score, has been revived several times on Broadway over the decades, but none of the productions has been as thoroughly a refurbishing as the small yet effective redo that the Roundabout Theatre Company opened Thursday at Studio 54.  Playwright Richard Greenberg, author of “Take Me Out” and “Three Days of Rain,” has given John O’Hara’s original book (based on O’Hara’s New Yorker short stories) a new sheen without changing the general outline of the story: punkish song-and-dance man scores big, gets his comeuppance but soldiers on.  Greenberg’s rewrite is crisp and to the point. There is a hard-boiled briskness to his work, a film-noir sensibility in its punchy dialogue that ricochets lickety-split across the stage.

Associated Press, Michael Kuchwara




”Pal Joey,” snazzily revived by the Roundabout Theatre Company, pumps much-needed fresh blood into a Broadway grown anemic.  A spate of pre-opening drama — when the gifted understudy, Matthew Risch, was promoted to protagonist — appears to have done no harm. Stockard Channing and Martha Plimpton supply additional star power and Richard Greenberg contributes a sleek new book to the top-notch Rodgers and Hart score.  Based on John O’Hara’s raffish stories and book, this is a rare, truly grown-up musical, having enough great songs, spectacle, adult and adulterous plot to satisfy all but the kiddies, for whom there are other shows aplenty.

Bloomberg News, John Simon



The Rodgers and Hart songs in “Pal Joey” are certainly easy on the ear, but what makes the Roundabout revival of their 1940 show so compelling is Richard Greenberg’s trenchant adaptation of the original book by John O’Hara. Erasing the sanitizing stamp of musical-theater coyness, Greenberg brings a fascinating melancholy grubbiness to this cynical story of sordid emotional transactions and opportunistic behavior in late-1930s Chicago. It’s a dark show for desperate times, with enough dramatic meat on its bones to work even as a nonmusical play. And like “Cabaret” a few years back, it seems right at home in the decadent former playpen of Studio 54.

Variety, David Rooney



You gotta go see Pal Joey at Studio 54.  You’ll come out singing the songs and dancing in the streets.  How often do we do that with musicals today?  So, enjoy.

WOR Radio, Joan Hamburg





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