Bounce is inspired by the lives of the colorful, early-20th-century, American capitalists-cum-con-artists, the Mizner brothers, their parents, their loves and their endless capers and schemes. The show takes place in "America and Elsewhere 1896-1933." Themes running through the piece include perseverance, seizing on opportunities, romantic and family loyalty and making a buck.
Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, musical direction by David Caddick, and the recording was produced by Robert Hurwitz and Tommy Krasker. Howard McGillin (as Wilson Mizner), Richard Kind (as Addison Mizner), Gavin Creel, Jane Powell (as Mama Mizner), Herndon Lackey, and Michele Pawk are all represented on the disc, repeating their regional work in Chicago and Washington, DC stagings (directed by Harold Prince).
The CD includes a bonus track of a cut song, "A Little House for Mama," sung by Addison.
According to the Nonesuch website, the song list (with running times) runs as follows:
"Gold! (Part 2)" 0:31
"What's Your Rush?" 2:33
"The Game" 2:31
"Next to You" 3:47
"Addison’s Trip" 6:32
"The Best Thing That Ever Has Happened" 4:13
"I Love This Town" 3:57
"Isn't He Something!" 3:11
"Bounce" 1:42 ACT II
"The Game" 5:33
"Addison's City" 4:17
"Boca Raton" 6:29
"Boca Raton Aftermath" 0:32
"Get Out of My Life" 3:03
Bounce officially opened at the Kennedy Center Oct. 30, 2003. It began previews on Oct. 21, following a world premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, June 20 Aug. 10. The show received a great deal of press, despite the fact that producer Roger Berlind eventually decided not to bring the show to New York.
It is Sondheim's first new score since Passion in 1994.
"There is so much music to record, and Richard Kind and Howard McGillin's vocal parts are so huge, we've been given the unusual luxury of a second day of recording," producer Tommy Krasker previously told Playbill On Line.
Krasker and Sondheim have collaborated before: Krasker produced cast recordings of Saturday Night, The Frogs and the New York Philharmonic's Sweeney Todd.
The recording is sweetened by 12 added strings and more percussion, Krasker confirmed.
New York Times scribe Frank Rich provides liner notes for the recording. An excerpt reads:
"If the score of Bounce is largely in the bright musical comedy vein of both Forum and Merrily, the Weidman influence is everywhere apparent in its historical reach. Both of his previous projects with Sondheim were revisionist takes on the American past: Pacific Overtures addressed the 'opening' of 19th-century Japan by Commodore Perry from a post-Vietnam perspective. Assassins was a bitter history of the U.S. from the point of view of the nation’s aggrieved, radicals and madmen; it went so far as to give its title characters their own alternative national anthem. In the story of the Mizners, Weidman found an epic piece of Americana that overlaps both of those earlier musicals in timeframe, stretching as it does from the Gold Rush of the 1890s to the Florida land bust of the Great Depression. And themes recur too: America's rapacious hunger for new frontiers, new land, new fortunes, not to mention the curdling of the success ethic to the point where it propels the Mizners, not unlike those assassins, to the threshold of lawlessness. It's 'the century of get rich quick,' as one lyric has it, where the moral line separating opportunity and rank opportunism soon disappears."