Loretta Devine Joins Upcoming Pal Joey Revival at New York City Center, Replacing Jennifer Holliday | Playbill

Encores! News Loretta Devine Joins Upcoming Pal Joey Revival at New York City Center, Replacing Jennifer Holliday

Holliday was forced to depart the reimagined revival due to scheduling conflicts.

Loretta Devine Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock

From one Dream to another—Loretta Devine has joined the cast of New York City Center's upcoming revival of Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey. Devine will star as nightclub owner Lucille Wallace, replacing the previously announced Jennifer Holliday, who has departed the upcoming production due to scheduling conflicts. Both Devine and Holliday previously shared the stage in the original Broadway company of Dreamgirls.

Pal Joey, New York City Center's gala presentation for 2023, will run November 1–5 at the Manhattan venue. The 1940 musical has been reimagined by co-director and choreographer Savion Glover and director Tony Goldwyn, and will feature a new book by Richard LaGravenese and Daniel "Koa" Beaty.

The performance will be a triumphant return for Devine, who has not appeared in a major stage production since a 2005 production of Purlie in California. The revival will also be Devine's first major NYC stage performance since 1994, when she appeared in East Texas Hot Links at Off-Broadway's Public Theater. Devine famously created the role of Lorrell in the original cast of Dreamgirls, but has spent the bulk of her career on screen. Her film and TV credits include Grey's AnatomyCrash, and Boston Public.

Also joining the cast is Jeb Brown, who will play Tony, a gangster.

The project has been in the works since at least 2021, when it was announced that Glover and Goldwyn were working with LaGravenese on a new Broadway-bound revival. LaGravenese and Beaty are revising John O'Hara's original book, adapted from his novel. The new version reportedly reimagines its title character as a Black jazz singer trying to make it on the Chicago nightclub circuit, and newly interpolates Rodgers and Hart songs from other works, including “Where or When,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “It Never Entered My Mind,” “My Heart Stood Still,” “Falling in Love With Love,” and “There’s a Small Hotel.”

Devine and Brown join a previously announced cast that includes Ephraim Sykes as Joey Evans, Aisha Jackson as radio singer Linda English, Elizabeth Stanley as white socialite Vera Simpson, and Brooks Ashmanskas in an unspecified role. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting.

Tickets are already on sale. Visit NYCityCenter.org.

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