Pal Joey

Let us start with what is good about this show.  The dancing and choreography.  There were moments when I thought I was at dance theatre, not a Broadway musical.  I also liked the use of turntables and effective sets.  The flower gowns in one scene drew deserved applause – mind you, it was the costumes that got the applause. 

Now to the bad part.  First of all, the play.  Don’t think that just because the music of a play was written by Rodgers and Hart that it is a good play or that the music is good.  Wrong and wrong.  The book is silly enough that it would take really good music to make it work.  It doesn’t have really good music.  The one song, the classic “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” delivered nicely by Stockard Channing, is great.  But one great song among eighteen is not enough.

Matthew Risch, who plays Joey, is a good dancer and has a good singing voice, but he lacks the charisma to bring a lead character to life.   Take a silly story, marginal songs except for the one great one and a leading man without charisma and you ain’t got much.

I have no clue why they would revive this play at all.  There are many plays, both new and old, which would blow this one away.  Nothing against revivals.  South Pacific at Lincoln Center is doing great and West Side Story, coming up soon, should be great as well.  But this one doesn’t cut it.  Spend your $126 somewhere else.