Based on Clifford Odets' 1937 play of the same name, Golden Boy tells the story of Joe Wellington, who's determined to break out of Harlem and make it as a boxer. Despite the disapproval of his family, he hooks up with a manager and, after a string of losses, he starts to win in the ring though life outside starts to spiral out of control.
The musical of Golden Boy premiered in 1964 on Broadway where it ran for 568 performances. The show has not been seen in London since 1968 when Rat Packer and original Broadway star Sammy Davis Jnr earned rave reviews in the role of Joe.
Pennycooke, who will play Joe at Greenwich, is currently appearing in Langston Hughes' Simply Heavenly at the Young Vic, while Triplett has just completed a sell-out season as Reno Sweeney in Trevor Nunn's Olivier Award-winning revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes at the National Theatre.
Golden Boy has an original book by Odets and William Gibson, with music by Charles Strouse (Annie and Bye, Bye Birdie) and lyrics by Lee Adams. Greenwich's revival, which has been three years in the planning, will feature three new songs as well as a new script.
- by Terri Paddock