Promises, Promises: The New Broadway Cast Recording

Music By: Burt Bacharach

Lyrics by: Hal David

Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Based on The Apartment, a 1960 Academy Award-winning film starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, Promises, Promises tells the story of Chuck Baxter, an employee of the Consolidated Life Insurance Company.  In an effort to move up the ladder, Chuck lends his apartment to numerous executives for their extramarital romantic trysts, but things become complicated when he discovers that the object of his own affection, Fran Kubelik, is involved with one of the executives he has lent his apartment out to.

            Originally produced on Broadway in 1968, Promises, Promises originally featured Jerry Orbach as Chuck and Jill O’Hara as Fran.  The musical won several awards and two of its songs, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again and Promises, Promises became big hits for R&B singer Dionne Warwick.  Forty years after the show’s last curtain call, a revival of Promises, Promises hit the stage with Sean Hayes in the role of Chuck and Kristin Chenoweth in the role of Fran.  This new production of Promises, Promises has already received numerous accolades, including quite a few Tony Award nominations.

            The New Broadway Cast Recording of Promises, Promises is rather enjoyable and often quite funny.  Sean Hayes has an incredible voice and a natural in the genre.  Kristen Chenoweth, who has proven her singing talent on shows like Pushing Daisies and Glee, is equally enjoyable in the role of Fran.  The two stars’ voices perfectly compliment each other on this soundtrack.

            There are several songs that stand out in the Promises, Promises Soundtrack.  Some are familiar to anyone who has listened to a radio in the last few decades such as I Say A Little Prayer and I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, but there are some that will never make the radio airwaves or are rarely heard on the radio, but are incredibly enjoyable as well.  In Upstairs, Chuck describes how much he enjoys the apartment he is currently renting.  He goes on an on about how the apartment is all his…except on Wednesday when he lends it to Mr. Kirkeby…but then it’s all his, except on Thursday when it’s Mr. Eichelberger’s.  Upstairs starts off as a regular song about a character’s pride in renting an apartment for such a decent price until he expands upon its use, adding a note of comedy.  The song that begins so innocently ends in a note of hilarity that is hard to forget.  There are two versions of A House Is Not a Home, a romantic song with a profound message about love and both are beautifully done.  Where Can You Take A Girl, a song performed by the cheating executive staff, is memorable for its comedic moments in which they discuss the issues involved in dating someone other than their wives.

            The booklet that accompanies The New Broadway Cast Recording of Promises, Promises features full color photos from the musical, information about the musical itself, a list of cast members and lyrics for all of the songs.  The book is a perfect addition to the CD and allows the listener to sing along with their favorite tunes while they check out scenes from the musical.

            The New Broadway Cast Recording of Promises, Promises is an extremely enjoyable CD that will delight anyone who enjoys a good Broadway musical.  I found the music and lyrics to be fun and enjoyable and  the cast performances to be on the mark.  The booklet accompanying the CD was an added and much appreciated bonus.  With all it has to offer, this CD is a steal at $14.00 US and will be a happy addition to any Broadway musical aficionado’s collection.


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