Sunday, 31 July 2016

CD Review: Promises, Promises (2010 New Broadway Cast Recording)

“What do you get when you fall in love?
A guy with a pin to burst your bubble”

One of the criticisms levelled at Close To You: Bacharach Reimagined was that it, well, reimagined Burt Bacharach’s songs. Well for those who prefer a more traditional approach to his music, his one foray onto Broadway Promises, Promises will be making its way to the Southwark Playhouse early next year, following on from the successful Broadway revival of 2010, which was the show’s first since being written in the late 1960s.

And I suppose if traditional is what you are looking for, then you won’t be disappointed here. Neil Simon’s adaptation of The Apartment sits loosely on a collection of Bacharach and David songs, augmented by the inclusion here of some of their other hits to beef up the recognisability quota, and it’s all rather cutesy and undemanding and depending on your viewpoint, either nicely retro or insufferably twee.

Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes try their best as the love interests and leads, particularly on a beautiful duet version of ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ and Katie FInneran makes a striking impact on ‘A Fact Can Be A Beautiful Thing’. But for me, the very fact that these interpretations of the music are closer to the ‘originals’ makes them harder to believe as part of a musical theatre score. I’ll still await seeing the show proper with interest but I can’t say I’ll be rushing back to listen to this recording. 

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