re: "Pal Joey"
Last Edit: PlayWiz 11:14 am EST 02/21/24
Posted by: PlayWiz 11:10 am EST 02/21/24
In reply to: re: Five days - December 25-29, 1951 - AlanScott 10:34 am EST 02/21/24

I was just reading the "Pal Joey" libretto I borrowed from the library in an anthology put together by Laurence Maslon under the title "American musicals, 1927-1949 : the complete books & lyrics of eight Broadway classics" (I think there's another volume as well). Anyway, I started to compare that libretto to a version I owned which has the original John O'Hara novella and also the libretto. Among the changes was that one starts with a song "Chicago" and the other doesn't, as well as some textual things, which I didn't go line by line. But in the Maslon anthology it looks like the character of Ludlow Lowell sings both "Do It the Hard Way" and duets with Gladys Bumps on "Plant You Now, Dig You Later", with Joey only duetting with Vera Simpson in the 2nd act on "In Our Little Den of Iniquity" which wouldn't give Joey that much to do song-wise in that act. Yet, the O'Hara volume I have gives Joey "Do It the Hard Way" and Gladys does "Plant You Now" without Lowell, his apparently not being a singing role in that version. It's a little confusing, since on the Harold Lang recording, doesn't the actor playing Lowell sing one of the songs as well? Apparently this show, even before the latest, apparently derided version of the show, has gone through lots of changes over the years.

Btw, that anthology is quite interesting -- I never had the opportunity to read the skits and lyrics for "As Thousands Cheer" by Moss Hart and Irving Berlin, respectively. Some very enjoyable writing there, even if some of the references are dated. Plus a pleasure to read "Finian's Rainbow", "Show Boat" as apparently originally done, and many of the others.
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