Everyone's an Expert

Pal Joey Gets Bum's Rush
By Richard Carreño

Playbill was neutral. Howard Shapiro in The Philly Inky gave it a thumbs-up. (Shapiro, for a change, even wrote his review in a version of English that could be deciphered by others than South Philly denizens). But Ben Brantley, in The New York Times, established the national buzz: The new rivival (a/k/a 'rivisval') of Pal Joey, based on the Master's short ones in The New Yorker, turned itself into a 'dirge.'
That smarts.

Still others still have to weight in -- me, for example. I have tix for next month.

But let's get our buzz goin' among our Society PenPals. If you've seen it, review it. If you've seen earlier version, let's hear about that. If you have an opinion (based on whatever), send that in, as well.

Pal Joey is at Studio 54, in New York, until 15 February.


jamesmacdonald7 said...

I saw the 1980 London revival which featured O'Hara's original libretto. If this new revival uses anything other than that libretto, however modest the adaptation, then it's an insult to O'Hara

Anonymous said...

Ben Brantley is an old churl. How can he not see the glorious charm and wit and pizazz of Pal Joey? The night I went the audience was mesmerized, the place was abuzz with pure joy. Stockard Channing was tough and touching, Martha Plimptpn nailed her role, Matthew Risch was perfectly adorable and perfectly loathsome as Joey - despite having an overactive sweat gland - Jenny Fellner has the voice of an angel, and Richard Greenberg's adaption of John O'Hara's book sounds just right. Bah humbug to you Ben Brantley!

jamesmacdonald7 said...

It isn't the epistolary novel that Greenberg has adapted, it's O'Hara's playscript. Why? And how did Wiley ever agree to the substitution?

Richard said...

Re: Wiley
I'm reserving comment until I see the production. However, it's clear this is a revised version of the play. In other ways, Wiley has been strict conservator of O'Hara's works. (No inclusion in university texts, no Modern Library edition, etc.) What makes different, then? OK, I'll be crass-- money?