Musical Theatre West to Present PAL JOEY This Sunday

Musical Theatre West's (MTW) Reiner Staged Reading Series (RRS) returns this season with an outstanding lineup of classic and forgotten Broadway gems, beginning with Pal Joey on Sunday, January 24, 7pm at the University Theatre at California State University, Long Beach (off 7th Street between East and West Campus Drive, Parking Lot 7).

Tickets are now on sale at the MTW West Ticket Office or by calling (562) 856-1999, ext. 4. Advance general admission tickets for each performance are $27 (or $32 on the day of the performance) or purchase a subscription for all four Reiner Staged Reading Performances (to include Pal Joey on January 26; On The Twentieth Century on May 16; Donnybrook! on June 12; and Li'l Abner on August 28) for $100, or $75 for your choice of three shows. Seating is general admission, with season subscribers receiving early access to the theatre via a special subscriber door.

The production features Broadway talent and some of MTW's favorites in the production, including Mary Gordon Murray (Broadway Little Me; MTW My Fair Lady; RRS Where's Charley?) as Vera Simpson, Adam Pellegrine (MTW's A Chorus Line; National Tour Chicago) as Joey Evans, and Heather Lundstedt O'Neill (RRS Babes in Arms; Regional Catch Me If You Can) as Linda English. The cast also features Natalie Nucci as Glady Bumps, Gabriel Kalomas as Ludlow Lowell; Tom Shelton as Mike Spears, and Kim Huber as Melba (full casting included in Calendar Listing).

Pal Joey takes place in Chicago in the late 1930s where Joey Evans is a small-time performer with big dreams of starting his own night club. A philanderer always working the angles, he draws the attention of two women, the innocent Linda who brings out the best in him and the wealthy, middle-aged, and married Vera Simpson, who can give him the club and lifestyle he's always wanted. How long can Joey juggle these women and what choice will he make - love or fame? The witty, melodic score by Richard Rodgers and Lorenzo Hart includes such favorites as "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" and "I Could Write a Book." Based on a series of short stories published in The New Yorker, which later became a novel, John O'Hara's beguiling tale became a hit on Broadway in the 1940s with Gene Kelly, Vivienne Segal, June Havoc, and Van Johnson in the original cast.

The Reiner's Reading Series productions are performed concert style, a bit like radio theatre. Using minimal sets and costumes, but featuring the full scripts and scores, the performances are the perfect way to celebrate the spectrum of musical theatre, while discovering some new favorite songs and shows. The shows will be performed in their entirety with the scores performed by a live orchestra, provided by Los Angeles Musicians Collective. The series is produced by Michael Betts and David Lamoureux and is made possible by a generous donation from Ken & Dottie Reiner with additional funding provided by The Ackerman Family/Evalyn M. Bauer Foundations, Kathy Baker Campbell, Robert & Donna Betts, Ben & Norena Thompson, Pat & Janice DeRouen, Marian Pincombe, and Ken & Cheryl Simpson.

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