Robert Clohessy, John Doman, Lou Liberatore, Tom Nelis and Skipp Sudduth have been cast in the Westport Country Playhouse revival of Jason Miller’s That Championship Season. The production, staged by the theater’s artistic director Mark Lamos, will run August 25 -September 12.
Clohessy’s recent Broadway appearances include Pal Joey and Twelve Angry Men. Doman played Deputy Police Commissioner William Rawls on the The Wire from 2002 to 2008. Sudduth’s Broadway credits include South Pacific, The Iceman Cometh and Twelfth Night, and was a series regular on television’s Third Watch. Liberatore received multiple award nominations for his performance in Burn This on Broadway and Nelis received an Obie for his work in The Medium.
That Championship Season which previously won a Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award and a New York Drama Critics Circle Award, tells the story of four high-school basketball players and their coach who, twenty years ago, brought home the state championship. Now the five men convene for their annual reunion. But the evening’s revelry turns dark as secrets are revealed, loyalties tested, and dreams diminished in this searing, knockout drama. That Championship Season brings savage humor and heart-rending compassion to its insightful exploration of a corrupted American dream.
For more information, click here to visit the Westport Country Playhouse website.
When I learned last year that Guys and Dolls would be returning to Broadway, my first thought was that Christian Hoff would be a perfect Sky Masterson. Unfortunately, his schedule (Pal Joey) did not permit. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who could envision Hoff in the role. He is appearing right now in the Ogunquit Playhouse’s current production of the classic Frank Loesser-Abe Burrows musical. And he is a HIT!
***from Theatremania, Reviewed By: Sandy MacDonald · Jul 17, 2009 · Maine***
Tony Award winner Christian Hoff is a bantam, Cagneyesque Sky Masterson. Where many an actor tackling the role of the seemingly hard-hearted gambler might rely on broad shoulders and a matinee-idol profile, Hoff’s edge is intellectual. It’s smarts that earned this Masterson his peers’ respect. His ever-calculating brain is also his foremost means of seduction (although his warm singing voice doesn’t hurt).
***from seacoastonline.com, By Sharon Cummins, July 22, 2009 6:00 AM***
Christian Hoff, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the role of Tommy DeVito in “Jersey Boys,” is believable as the handsome high roller, Sky Masterson. His voice in “My Time of Day,” is as smooth as silk charmeuse…
…One of the better-known numbers from “Guys and Dolls,” “Luck be a Lady,” is passionately performed by Christian Hoff as Sky Masterson and a dozen other dancing gamblers in the city sewer.
The show goes on through Aug. 8. For more information, click here to visit the Ogunquit Playhouse website.
The Drama Desk, an organization of professional theater critics, writers and editors, bestows awards with Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions competing in the same categories. The ceremony will be held on May 17 at F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center, hosted by Harvey Fierstein.
For a full listing of Drama Desk Award nominees, please click here.
Also, the Outer Critics CircleAwards nominations were announced on April 20 at the Algonquin Hotel, with Pal Joey being nominated for two awards:
Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Martha Plimpton
Outer Critics Circle Awards are bestowed by an association whose members are affiliated with more than 90 publications and broadcasting outlets. Winners will be announced on May 11, and the 2009 awards ceremony will be held on May 21 at Sardi’s.
For a full listing of Outer Critics Circle Awards nominees, please click here.
Congratulation to Stockard and Martha for those well-deserved noms!
Following our Pal Joey favorites beyond Studio 54……
Thursday, March 5, 2009; Posted: 11:03 PM - by BWW News Desk
The Triad Theatre presents Bahiyah Sayyed Gaines Sunday, March 22, 2009. Broadway Dance Diva, Bahiyah Sayyed Gaines, takes the stage in her one woman show…Gaines is no stranger to the stage as she [recently appeared] in her third originated Broadway production, Pal Joey at 54 Studio. What you may not know is that, not only does this graceful leggy beauty dance, she also sings. Bahiyah Sayyed Gaines is a trained dancer who’s studied at the infamous Baltimore School for the Arts as well as The Julliard School.
Her BFA has allowed her to join world renowned companies such as Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn, The Frankfurt Ballet and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Ms. Gaines was also noted as one of the top 25 dancers to watch in the 2005 issue of Dance Magazine. Come and discover another side of Bahiyah as she takes the stage to serenade you with songs of love & laughter in jazz, R & B, and standards. This celebrated dancer who’s conquered dance in concerts world wide would like to invite you come into “her world” as she performs in her own one woman show at The Triad. “Because I’m known as a dancer, I feel the need to show the world what else I have to share,” said Ms. Gaines.
Come and join Bahiyah Sayyed Gaines in a sensational evening at The Triad on March 22nd a 7pm. The Triad is located at 158 West 72nd 2nd floor between Broadway & Columbus. *There is a 2 Drink Minimum. The Triad is cash only.
….check back for more cast updates….
Although Andrew Gross’s novel “Don’t Look Twice” is not available until March 3, a sample of Christian Hoff’s audio book recording is available through Blackstone Audio. To listen click here.
To pre-order your audio book through amazon.com, click on the “Don’t Look Twice” icon in the sidebar.
The 1952 Joey Evans, dancer extraordinaire Harold Lang, appeared on a popular Sunday night variety show and with the Pal Joey company, performed “Happy Hunting Horn.” The number includes some startling dance moves by Lang. This rare kinescope speaks for itself.
Broadway .com has a section titled “Word of Mouth” that allows real theatergoers the opportunity to give their opinions on what’s hot and what’s not on Broadway. In this segment, panelists Mark, Mary and Steven discuss their thoughts on Pal Joey. (The video also includes several clips from the show.)
This Daily News article caught my eye, and not only for the obvious reason that it’s about Stockard Channing. Tina Turner, Liza Minelli and Stockard Channing are, you have to admit, pretty amazing (over-60) women who aren’t intimidated by a show biz world full of young hotties. They just keep on doing their thing, and doing it as well as ever. I do, however, have a problem seeing them labeled as “comeback” queens, as that implies they were once “gone”.
Here is an excerpt from the Daily News article titled:
Comeback queens Tina Turner, Liza Minelli and Stockard Channing to play NYC shows
BY Patrick Huguenin
DAILY NEWS Staff Writer
…On Broadway, Channing gets in cougar character for “Pal Joey,” a revival of the Rodgers and Hart musical, now in previews, that opens Dec. 11. She plays money honey Vera Simpson, a rich older woman courted by the title character (Matthew Risch) with the hope that she’ll finance his nightclub.
The actress famous for belting as Rizzo in the movie version of “Grease” hasn’t tuned her pipes on Broadway since 1984, when she took over for Minnelli in “The Rink.” But, she says, the sexy role caught her eye.
“She’s a complicated woman,” she’s said of Vera, “probably a little ahead of her time. Very composed on one level, but clearly deeply passionate on another. And that passion is awakened by Joey.”
To read the entire article, click here.
Tuesday, October 7th was Press day for Pal Joey at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s rehearsal hall. Broadway.com was there to document the event with this great video. Watch the fun with the Pal Joey stars - Christian Hoff, Stockard Channing and Martha Plimpton. The video was produced by Paul Wontorek, with interviews by Kimberly Kaye; shot & edited by Jason Dickerson.
Click here to view the video in a new window.
The first production of Pal Joey opened at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theater in December 1940, with a very young Gene Kelly as Joey Evans. He is pictured here with his co-star, Vivienne Segal as Vera. Kelly had made his Broadway debut only two years earlier as a dancer in Cole Porter’s “Leave It to Me!” A little over a decade later, Segal would reprise her Vera role in the second Broadway production of Pal Joey, this time with Harold Lang as Joey. Also in the 1940 cast was June Havoc, sister of Gypsy Rose Lee and the real-life Dainty June of the musical “Gypsy,” as Gladys; plus young and unknown hoofers Van Johnson and Stanley Donen. Johnson was Gene Kelly’s understudy in the show.
All photos by Aubrey Reuben
Placing your cursor over a picture pauses the picture and reveals the names of the subjects.
One of the funnest “jobs” I’ve had in writing this blog has been researching Martha Plimpton. I’ve never met her in person, but everything I’ve read leads me to believe that she is quite funny, extremely talented, well rounded, well adjusted, and …well, a real CHARACTER!
Martha’s myspace blogs are hilarious, and in one she talks about being interviewed in an elevator by “my good friend, Sheaux Biz Entrepreneur and All-around Entertainer Dave Hill. I …would let Dave interview me pretty much anyplace, anytime he wanted to, because he is just that good at making me appear hilarious and charming.”
Watch the video here. (Video will be displayed in a new window.)
Peter D. Kramer of “The Journal News” reports that Stockard Channing is a bit concerned that people who come to see her latest musical, Pal Joey, will be looking for the 1957 movie that starred Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak and Rita Hayworth.
According to Kramer’s September 28 article, Channing says “It’s so different, I watched it a couple of weeks ago and I thought ‘My goodness! People are going to expect a whole other thing, a whole other story.’”
The musical, which first opened on Christmas Day 1940 and ran for 374 performances, was based on John O’Hara’s stories about a rakish 1930s Chicago nightclub singer, Joey Evans, who claimed to be everyone’s pal. He meets a woman of means who agrees to keep him in a style to which he could easily become accustomed.
The original production starred Gene Kelly as Joey and Vivienne Segal as Vera Simpson. At Studio 54, it’ll be Christian Hoff (”Jersey Boys”) and Channing.
Exclusive to the Pal Joey Blog
When theater folk get together over a glass of sherry and reminisce about the actors who most influenced them, those whose sensitivity, artistry and command of craft transformed and energized not only their own lives but the very life of the American theater, it’s likely that one name comes to mind: Harvey Fierstein.
But would it be fitting for a “Pal Joey” blog to boast of any actor before enshrining the guy who plays the title character?? Certainly not.
Which is why we gather electronically to this place to honor our very own Christian Hoff. I say “our very own” even though Christian is a SoCal kid with blonde curls and surfer looks — traits that he disguised for the past four years during his spectacular Tony-winning turn as Tommy DeVito in that little number called “Jersey Boys.” In theory, there couldn’t be a guy less right for Joey, a Broadway heel of the highest order. But Christian defies theories.
He’s been honing his chops since he was a kid in Hollywood, and it shows. There isn’t much this classic triple-threat star can’t do, and the excitement at watching him do it as “Joey” is palpable up and down Broadway. Because Christian has that rare combination of magnetism, danger, audacity, instinct, and, I’ll say it, sex appeal, that goes to the heart of what an audience wants to see. And, as for the off-stage man, anybody who’s ever met Christian knows that he is the definition of class, a good, solid, upright, forthright husband, father, friend and colleague.
A hero who plays a heel. What a great Broadway story!
Rick Elice is the Tony-nominated co-author of Jersey Boys.
Although previews for Roundabout Theatre Company’s fall presentation of Rodgers and Hart’s Pal Joey aren’t set to begin until Friday, November 14th (at Studio 54 on Broadway), I can’t wait to start talking about it. With an all-star cast including Tony Award winner Christian Hoff as Joey Evans, Tony Award winner Stockard Channing as Vera Simpson, and Tony Award nominee Martha Plimpton as Gladys Bumps, this limited run engagement is certain to be a smash hit!