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Kennedy Center Scraps New Production 'Pal Joey'

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WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center is canceling the centerpiece of its theater season, a new production of the Rodgers and Hart musical "Pal Joey" planned for June, because a director pulled out of the project.

The Kennedy Center says it got word Thursday that Christopher Ashley from San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse was no longer available.

Instead, it will present the musical revue "First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb." It debuted in 2009 at Washington's Signature Theatre.

The Kennedy Center's "Pal Joey" was to be based on a new book by playwright Terrence McNally. The original 1940 Broadway show, based loosely on short stories from The New Yorker, starred Gene Kelly. The film version featured Frank Sinatra. It was last revived on Broadway in 2008, starring Stockard Channing.