The Golden Throats Wiki

Pal Joey.

This is about the stage musical. For the film adaptation, see Pal Joey (1957 film).

Pal Joey is a musical based on a story by John O'Hara.


  • Gene Kelly - Joey Evans
  • Vivienne Segal - Vera Simpson
  • Leila Ernst - Linda English
  • June Havoc - Gladys Bumps
  • Jack Durant - Ludlow Lowell
  • Van Johnson - Victor
  • Jane Fraser - Terry
  • Nelson Rae - Louis the Tenor
  • Sondra Barrett - The Kid


In Chicago in the late 1930s, singer/dancer Joey Evans, a charming "heel" with big plans, schemes to get his own nightclub. He auditions for an emcee job at a second-rate nightclub. Joey gets the job and begins rehearsals with the chorus girls and club singer Gladys Bumps. Joey meets young and naïve Linda English outside a pet shop, and he impresses her with grandiose lies about his career. Linda innocently falls for Joey's line. As the chorus girls are doing a song-and-dance number at the club that night), Linda arrives with a date. Wealthy married socialite Vera Simpson arrives at the club and shows a definite interest in Joey. Joey plays hard-to-get and insults Vera, who walks out. Mike, the club owner, fires Joey, but Joey, believing Vera will be back, strikes a deal: if Vera doesn't come back within the next few days, Joey will leave without pay. The chorus girls continue with the show; Linda, having witnessed Joey's caddish behavior, has left the club. Vera doesn't return, so Joey is fired. When Linda refuses to answer his calls, Joey calls Vera. After Joey's last night as emcee, Vera picks him up from the club and they start an affair. Vera is glowing in the romance and sets Joey up with an apartment and expensive clothes. While shopping for clothes for Joey, Vera and he run into Linda, leaving Vera jealous and Linda distraught. Vera gives Joey his own nightclub, "Chez Joey," and Joey looks forward to rising to the top.

The chorus girls and singers from the old club have relocated to "Chez Joey," where they rehearse for the opening performance. Melba, an ambitious reporter, interviews Joey, recalling her interviews with various celebrities, including Gypsy Rose Lee. Ludlow Lowell, Gladys' old flame, introduces himself as an agent with papers that Joey unthinkingly signs as the rehearsal continues. In Joey's apartment the next morning, Joey and Vera reflect on the pleasures of their affair. Linda overhears Gladys and Lowell plotting to use the papers Joey signed to blackmail Vera. Linda calls Vera, who initially distrusts Linda; Vera confronts Joey, asking what his relationship is with Linda, and Joey responds defensively. Linda comes to the apartment to convince Vera, and Vera, seeing Linda's sincerity, now believes her. Vera and Linda agree that Joey is not worth the trouble. Vera calls her friend the police commissioner, who arrests Gladys and Lowell. Vera throws Joey out and closes "Chez Joey". Joey runs into Linda again outside the pet shop, and she invites him to dinner with her family. He refuses the invitation, and, saying she hopes she'll see him again, she leaves him standing alone.

Musical numbers

Act I
  • "You Mustn't Kick It Around" – Joey Evans, Gladys Bumps, Agnes, The Kid, Chorus Girls and Waiters
  • "I Could Write a Book" – Joey and Linda English
  • "Chicago" – Dancer and Chorus Girls
  • "That Terrific Rainbow" – Gladys, Victor and Girls
  • "What is a Man?" – Vera Simpson
  • "Happy Hunting Horn" – Joey, Terry, Chorus Girls and Boy Friends
  • "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" – Vera Simpson
  • "Pal Joey (What Do I Care For A Dame?)" – Joey
Act II
  • "The Flower Garden of My Heart" – Gladys, The Tenor, Specialty Dancer and Ensemble
  • "Zip" † – Melba Snyder
  • "Plant You Now, Dig You Later" – Ludlow Lowell, Gladys and Ensemble
  • "In Our Little Den (of Iniquity)" – Vera and Joey
  • "Do It The Hard Way" – Ludlow, Gladys, Dancer and Ensemble
  • "I Still Believe In You" † – Linda
  • "Take Him" – Vera, Linda and Joey
  • "Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered" (Reprise) – Vera
  • "I Still Believe In You" (Reprise) † – Linda
  • "I'm Talkin' to My Pal" † – Joey
  • "I Could Write A Book" (Reprise) – Joey

† 2008 revival: "Zip" is sung by Gladys; cut songs restored; Linda's reprise added