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The play, Pal Joey, reflects a new realism

Photo caption: The original 1940 Pal Joey production poster.

Source: Lorenz Hart website

Pal Joey was a cynical and caustic story about a gigolo and, while it performed adequately in 1940, when it was revived in 1952 before a public that was more open-minded and jaded, it was wildly successful.  The costumes, lighting and stage design were all created specifically to reinforce this lively but essentially grim fable.