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Pal Joey

Pal Joey

 

Press Release from the Prince Music Theater

Long considered a breakthrough in the history of musical theater, Rodgers and Hart’s daring Pal Joey introduced audiences to John O’Hara’s irresistible "bad-boy" when it opened on Broadway in 1940. Now, during the Richard Rodgers Centennial Celebration, the Prince Music Theater offers a fresh look at this masterful musical in a new production starring Christine Andreas, directed by Lori Steinberg (national tour of Swing) with musical direction by Larry Goldberg (national tours of Cats; Sunset Boulevard.)

Pal Joey begins previews on November 2 and continues through November 17. Tickets, priced from $25 to $48 are available at UpStages, 215-569-9700, or on the Prince Music Theater web site, www.princemusictheater.org. Press opening is Saturday, November 9 at 8 pm.

Described in 1940 as "brilliant and strikingly original . . . an outstanding triumph," by the New York Herald Tribune, Pal Joey features a gritty, hard-hitting book by John O’Hara based on stories he wrote for the New Yorker, a glorious score by Richard Rodgers, daring and inventive lyrics by Larry Hart, and classic songs including "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "I Could Write a Book," and "Zip" - the song that made Elaine Stritch famous.

Christine Andreas, a two-time Tony Award nominee (for her starring roles in Oklahoma! and On Your Toes) brings her renowned soprano to the role of Vera. "With the sheer beauty of her voice . . . (Ms. Andreas) finds a blend of lyricism and sweet sensuality that only the finest Broadway voices can conjure," wrote The New York Times. Her recent Carnegie Hall debut was hailed as "brilliant" by Variety and her critically-praised cabaret show at the Algonquin Here’s to the Ladies is about to be released on CD.

The handsome Trent Dawson (Broadway, The Herbal Bed; television, Guiding Light and As the World Turns) also stars as Joey with Kelly McCormick as Linda, Joey’s naive girlfriend. Susann Fletcher plays Gladys, the lead dancer in the nightclub with Christa Justus as Melba, the newspaper reporter who reveals another side of herself in "Zip."

The choreography for Pal Joey is by Myra Bazell (Chicago, Myths & Hymns). Set design is by Luke Cantarella, (The Tempest, Measure for Measure, Falsettos); costumes are designed by Mark Mariani (Myths & Hymns, It’s Better with a Band); Michael Lincoln (Broadway, Copenhagen, More to Love, Skylight) designs the lights. Larry Goldberg conducts the orchestra and Nick Courtides (Lady in the Dark; Candide) designs the sound.

Pal Joey had its very first performances in Philadelphia in 1940 and then went on to open on Broadway and ran for less than a year. A decade later, band leaders and pop singers discovered "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" which reached the top of the charts. That sparked interest in the musical which was revived in 1952 and became an enormous success.

"Although Pal Joey was first produced in 1940, the characters are timeless," notes director Lori Steinberg. "We all know Joey, the charming, charismatic heel. Today, he’s in politics, on television and in life; and smart women continue to fall for him because they’re captivated by his danger and excitement."

"The Prince is delighted to be giving Philadelphia a chance to rediscover Pal Joey in this Rodgers Centennial year," said Marjorie Samoff, Producing Artistic Director, "and I think that audiences will find the wit, dark humor and complex characters of this piece to be dramatically engaging, especially in the intimacy of the Prince. Our own Richard Rodgers celebration will continue in November and December to include film presentations, panel discussions and cabaret. One highlight will be the screening of the highly-praised documentary about Richard Rodgers’ life introduced by its author, Larry Maslon."

Following her starring role as Vera in Pal Joey, Christine Andreas will open the Prince Music Theater’s Cabaret Series Upstairs at the Prince in the Independence Foundation Black Box. She will perform Here’s to the Ladies, a tribute to the great divas of the musical theater from November 29 through December 15 for 10 performances only.

Pal Joey is sponsored by Commerce Bank and WPEN-AM radio. The Prince Music Theater 2002-2003 season sponsors are Amtrak, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company and MagPage.

CHRISTINE ANDREAS (VERA)
Christine Andreas first took Broadway by storm as Eliza Doolittle in the 20th Anniversary production of My Fair Lady (opposite Ian Richardson) and subsequently received Tony Award nominations for her work in Oklahoma! and On Your Toes. She last appeared on Broadway when she created the starring role of Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Her other Broadway credits include Words and Music with Sammy Cahn, Nancy in Angel Street with Dina Merrill, Rebecca in Rags and Alice in Legs Diamond. In London’s West End she starred in The Fields of Ambrosia. Her television credits include "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Another World," and "The Cosby Show." She recently made her Carnegie Hall debut in Carnegie Hall Celebrates Lerner & Loewe. She has performed at the White House, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, with symphony orchestras throughout the country and in some of the finest supper clubs in New York including The Algonquin Hotel’s legendary Oak Room and the Cafe Carlyle.

LORI STEINBERG (DIRECTOR)
Lori Steinberg most recently directed the national tour of Swing; A Child's Garden, a new musical by Louis Rosen, Arthur Perlman and Charlotte Maier; and the acclaimed production of Ice Island: the Wait for Shackleton, by Marjorie Duffield. Other Off-Broadway and regional productions include: The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, Oy!, Tit Tales: a body politics cabaret, Yiddle with a Fiddle, Lucky Stiff, 'night Mother, Steel Magnolias, Howard McGillin: The Gypsy in Me, and Noel Coward in Two Keys (co-directed with Tony Walton.) She has taught acting at Vassar College, and works with the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theater Writing program directing readings of new musicals. She has been on the creative teams of many original productions, including Assassins, Six Degrees of Separation, and Jerry Zaks's revivals of Anything Goes and Guys and Dolls. She was Executive Producer of the feature film, "Marvin's Room" and made the joke that inspired "In and Out."

PERFORMANCE DATES AND TIMES

Previews
Saturday at 8 pm - November 2
Tuesday & Wednesday at 7 pm - November 5 & 6
Thursday & Friday at 8 pm - November 7 & 8
Sunday at 2 pm - November 3

Press Opening
Saturday, November 9 at 8 pm

Performances
Tuesday & Wednesday at 7 pm - November 12 & 13
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm - November 14, 15 & 16
Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2 pm - November 13, 16 & 17

TICKETS
Prices $25 to $48
Call UpStages at 215-569-9700 or online at www.princemusictheater.org

 

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