Click here to visit the “Share Your Pal Joey Experience” page. This page is updated as I receive new pictures and “experiences”. If you would like your pictures and/or text to appear on the page, please e-mail them to admin at paljoeyblog.com.
Well I saw the show again tonight, and my honest feeling is that fate has treated Christian well. I believe he will look back with a sense of good fortune that he was not part of such a dog.
The show is better around the edges than on opening night of previews. But the flaws so evident that evening still afflict the production. The show is just plain short on energy. It seems to go in slow motion, with cast members at times almost sleepwalking through their roles.
Points of interest (unchanged from the first viewing) include the revelations that Martha Plimpton can sing and dance quite well and that dear wonderful Stockard Channing absolutely cannot, though Ms. Channing certainly stands out in this group for acting ability. As for Matthew Risch, he is not a bad dancer or singer, but he comes up short on acting talent and he is so utterly lacking in flare and magnetism that he is just not credible in the role of Joey.
No apparent connection was forged with the audience. Applause at the end was tepid at best, with nobody standing. My hunch is that the show may last through its scheduled conclusion in February, but only because of presales through the Roundabout members.
Well, the experience I’m going to share has nothing to do with the show itself, but actually with my visit to the stage door afterward. I’m not a huge stage door person, but I was curious to see if “the Stockard” was as icy as I imagined, and if Martha was as nice and funny.
I’ll preface by saying it was Thursday, Dec. 18th, the “official” opening night, so I’m not sure what was going on inside the theater after the show. But the stage door is set up with two separate sides, so I was a little worried that someone I wanted to see might go the other way and I’d miss them. So I kind of moved to the middle and was told in no uncertain terms that it was one side or the other. Oh, yeah, have to keep the mob of 10 at bay!
A few people wandered out, none I recognized until Robert Clohessy came out. He was great. Chatted with us and was very nice. Then my husband noticed a familiar looking girl talking with some people on the sidewalk and asked who she was…it was Jenny Fellner, just coming out to talk to her friends then hurry back in. But she did stop and talk with us and pose for a pic. She was very sweet.
Then we waited and waited and waited….it was very cold, and by now there were only a handful of people left. Stockard came out, looked perturbed by the fact she had to come out for such a few people, smiled, signed autographs and went back inside.
And we waited…there were five of us left. Martha finally came out and I spoke with her a moment, then offered to take her pic with 2 gentlemen who had been waiting patiently. Then my husband asked if he could take her picture, she complied, but before he could actually snap the photo, she turned and walked away, saying under her breath (but loud enough for everyone to hear) “I don’t have all day”, and turned and went back inside. Granted it was “opening” night, and they were probably anticipating being slammed in the press, but there was no excuse for that.
If Matthew Risch made an appearance after that, I didn’t hang around to see him.
Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the Jersey Boys stage door “etiquette”. Perhaps I just picked a bad night for the cast, because I haven’t heard of anyone else having such an experience, but it certainly did leave a bad taste in my mouth.
(I did enjoy the show, by the way, and thought Risch did a fine job, considering the circumstances. Would much rather have seen Christian Hoff, and I’m sure would have had a totally different stage door memory.)
I think the show was THE strongest I have ever seen it. A new (physical) change was added to the check scene- which was in and of itself the strongest I have ever seen it. I am very very familiar with Stockard’s work in particular- so that doesn’t surprise me. She does completely what actors are supposed to do: play each moment as if for the first time. And the depth of interpretation gets stronger even when you think it is so strong it can’t (get stronger). It still does. It deepens. It stays fresh and it deepens.
“…Bewitched” and the check scene were both incredibly strong - and touching. Her entire arc (Stockard’s) as Vera moved me immensely last night — and I’ve seen the show a lot already. It speaks to how strong her work is, that it remains fresh- and things deepen.
The show is in TERRIFIC shape. I wish the reviewers had seen THIS show. It has grown and kept growing. I think Risch is right - now that I reflect on it btw- “Do It The Hard Way” ( was it the camera crew laughing at the title? It now has stayed with me! )… The fact that dance is (I believe) his first instinctive natural language makes it much easier for him to charm Linda there. I think it is my favorite duet with the two of them.
Jenny Fellner’s voice - I love it. She couldn’t possibly be more perfectly cast.
Plimpton as strong as ever also btw- her choices are SO specific in “Zip”- love that.
And the chorus has so much individual stuff and individual character work- that is great fun to see. One thing I only recently started noticing is Kathryn Mowat Murphy ( red hair) - plays the top of Act Two ( where we see the real club given to Joey vs. his fantasy club end of Act One)—she plays that as if she were a bit typsy. Love that.
I came home thinking about the show ( Vera really gets to me) …
What else? Just that “Bewitched ” ( like all of Stockard’s work) is brilliantly acted- it is a monologue. ( It is a living thing.) I continue to be amazed at the depths Stockard reaches … it was immensely affecting and touching last night- her work. (I’m used to seeing her in a run- and STILL I was blown away.) She keeps things fresh always- and there is more depth - when you think she is already “there”… and can’t be stronger- she does get stronger. The work grows. ( Did that make sense?) (Repeating myself- tired, sorry!) Wanted to post a quick response.
I think the show is actually very well cast overall. VERY. The tenor jokes for me get a bit old ( not that the actor is bad, just those jokes about his name don’t do all that much for me). (I am a fan of the new book however, definitely. Greenberg’s work overall here.)
I could actually really “write a book” re: how strong the supporting characters and the dancers are here. Love watching the detailed work in the ensemble overall. No one was out last night.
Risch has two really strong things going for him- one: dancing is his natural language- when he charms Linda in ” Do it The Hard Way”- we see it is his natural language… - that he makes it look EFFORTLESS… that helps a lot.
But the main thing? (To my eye) —His chemistry with Vera.( And yes Linda also) - With Vera— he is right in there with her. And he is … sexy enough that we believe Vera wants him - and the ease between them onstage has grown by LEAPS and BOUNDS. They had chemistry literally from the first night onstage (I happened to catch it) but it has grown and continues to.
And so has her work. I was incredibly moved last night and from the sound of it ( her curtain call bows) I was far from alone.
I ponder over Joey. I think Risch has a chemistry I never saw with Hoff. Sometimes chemistry is a difficult thing. Stockard accepted it based on reading with Hoff… what happened between rehearsals and that preview week remains with those involved. Chemistry perhaps is intangible- perhaps in reading with him- it worked. And on its feet, no.
But more specifically- yes, I think Risch is DEFINITELY growing. Scenes with Vera- in particular, love them. Scenes with Linda -working very well. I happen to be a fan of the edginess - the beginning and end, the set, the overall feel of the piece. (Just for the record.) And I love Greenberg’s book. He was clearly there as Risch was growing with Stockard in previews- I saw based on physical business, a few lines added… in previews. (Last night I saw a physical change in the check scene I loved- I have to imagine of course Greenberg now, is gone.)
As tired as I am this morning- that is the best I can do. I was truly moved last night- and yeah particularly by Vera. Stockard is an actor whose work keeps deepening in a run and always remains fresh. Here is the great news: Risch is in there with her.
I must say that my experience with Ms. Channing and Ms. Plimpton differ with many on this blog. They could not have been nicer to my son when he asked for autographs. They chatted with him about the show and Ms. Plimpton was especially gracious when he mentioned he enjoyed her Law & Order episode. I just wanted to add my experience into the mix.
Nice photos.. They are both beautiful.. This is a good article helped me very much! Saved your site, very great topics just about everywhere that I see here! I really appreciate the information, thanks.
Thank you for sharing this with us. I saw the show again tonight, and my honest feeling is that fate has treated Christian well. I believe he will look back with a sense of good fortune that he was not part of such a dog.
They could not have been nicer to my son when he asked for autographs. They chatted with him about the show and Ms. Plimpton was especially gracious when he mentioned he enjoyed her Law & Order episode.Anyway, thanks for sharing.
I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! All the best!
The special design and unique armani watches logo at first glance of armani wallets allow it to be so popular. Do you want to own bags or Wallets now? Recently, more and more people would like to choose shopping online instead of shopping in stores.
Bryant har vÃ¦rt en sterk interesse for kinesisk kultur har en soft spot for kinesisk kampsport, og som pÃ¥ slutten av legendariske kinesiske martial arts superstjerne idol, selv i sin streben begrepet fleksibel, hastighet inn i sin egen trening.
Coach Outlet Online is very good, very fond of people. Letâ��s chest happy pregnant to embrace such a profound and perfect for. Addictive. This is what weâ��re looking for has been to explore the secret for.
I just have one problem with Leggs hosiery, and it’s not the fault of the company. The problem is this: no matter how many stores I go to, I can never seem to find the size or style that I need. I can search all I want, but if the store’s out of stock, then I’m out of luck.. Honestly , fake bags don’t bother me like they did some years ago.
THE MIDTOWN MEN~ 4 stars from the Original Cast of Jersey Boys
After a successful 2010 tour of nearly 50 cities across the US and Canada, THE MIDTOWN MEN (Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer) kicked off their 2011 tour with a spectacular show in New York City at the Colden Center at Queens College on Saturday, April 9th.
The group’s jump- to- your-feet show features top hits from a who’s who of the ‘60s including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Temptations, The Jackson 5 and The Four Seasons, whose story they brought to life every night as stars in the Original Broadway Cast of Jersey Boys.