Susie McMonagle in Porchlight Music Theatre’s “Pal Joey”
“They just don’t write ’em like that anymore!”
That classic turn of phrase kept running through my head watching Porchlight Music Theatre’s seductively charming production of Pal Joey — a classic yet rarely produced 1940 musical comedy. Set in late 1930s Chicago, the musical, written by John O’Hara with music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, presents the life of Joey Evans, a charismatic, second-rate nightclub performer who uses his manipulative charms to win over the wealthy and married Vera Simpson (or, it could be argued, Vera sees through Joey’s tricks and traps him as her toy).
Either way, Joey and Vera get what they need from each other — she some good sex and a few laughs, he a chance at a flashy nightclub career. Both learn that engaging in such dangerous risk taking is bound to result in hard knocks. But as someone who’s dusted himself off and started from scratch dozens of times before, Joey’s game for anything. And Vera? Well, she knows how to play the game. Read the full review on The Huffington Post >