1952 Broadway Revival
“As an augury of a Happy New Year, the town has inherited a brilliant production of Pal Joey, which opened at the Broadhurst,” wrote The New York Times theatre critic Brooks Atkinson in his review of Broadway’s first revival of the groundbreaking Rodgers & Hart smash. The production played for 540 performances, almost 200 more than its original production. Starring Vivienne Segal (reprising her role as Vera) and Harold Lang as Joey Evans, with a legendary star turn from Elaine Stritch as Melba, this new production staged by David Alexander solidified Pal Joey’s status as a profound turning point in American musical theatre. As Atkinson said, “Since the days of Oklahoma! the musical stage has grown in awareness and artistry… But it is true that Pal Joey was a pioneer in the moving back of musical frontiers, for it tells an integrated story with a knowing point of view.”
Orchestrated by Don Walker under the musical direction of Max Meth, this Capitol record brings together several members of the first Broadway revival cast of Pal Joey, including Helen Gallagher as Gladys and Elaine Stritch, who made a splash singing the suddenly show-stopping cynical lament “Zip.” Vivienne Segal and Harold Lang had already recorded the score on Columbia’s 1950 Studio Recording, and Columbia refused to allow them to release a second recording on Capitol, so Jane Froman and Dick Beavers assumed the lead roles. Restoring the original content previously changed for the 1950 recording, this cast album became the definitive, most loyal preservation of Rodgers & Hart’s original score.