By Kenneth Jones
17 Dec 2009
Brooks Ashmanskas, Katie Finneran and Tony Goldwyn and have joined the cast of the first Broadway revival of Promises, Promises, the producers announced on Dec. 17. Performances begin March 27 at the Broadway Theatre. Goldwyn (Off-Broadway's The Dying Gaul, The Sum of Us, The Water's Edge) will play boss J.D. Sheldrake and Tony Award nominee Ashmanskas (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, The Ritz and the January Broadway revival of Present Laughter) will play Mr. Dobitch, joining the previously announced Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Wicked, The Apple Tree) as Fran and Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace") as Chuck Baxter.
Tony Award winner Finneran (Noises Off) will play Marge MacDougall, the one-scene, one-song character that won Marian Mercer a Tony Award back in 1969. She and Chuck have a memorable scene in a restaurant at Christmastime.
The workplace musical, set in and around a Manhattan office in the 1960s, is based on Billy Wilder's film "The Apartment." The 1968 musical has book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David.
Tony winner Rob Ashford (who choreographed Thoroughly Modern Millie and Cry-Baby) directs and choreographs the new production, making his Broadway directorial debut. In London, he was lauded for his direction of A Streetcar Named Desire and Parade.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Dec. 21 via Telecharge.com and at (212) 239-6200.
More casting and creative team members will be announced in the near future.
In the musical, Chuck climbs the corporate ladder by lending his apartment to executives for sexual liaisons. He falls in love with Fran, who is connected to one the execs.
The musical spawned the memorable pop hits "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Promises, Promises," both popularly recorded by Dionne Warwick.
The producers are Broadway Across America (John Gore, Thomas B. McGrath, Beth Williams), Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Candy Spelling, Pat Addiss and The Weinstein Company.
Simon penned the original book and revised it for the popular Encores! concert revival at City Center in 1997. In that revival, a "new" song, "You've Got It All Wrong," was interpolated. The score also includes "Knowing When to Leave" (which got radio airplay), "Where Can You Take a Girl?," "You'll Think of Someone," "Turkey Lurkey Time," "It's Our Little Secret," "A Fact Can Be a Beautiful Thing," "Wanting Things," "Whoever You Are, I Love You," "Half As Big As Life," "She Likes Basketball," "Upstairs," "A Young Pretty Girl Like You."
Jerry Orbach and Marian Mercer won 1969 Tony Awards for their work in the original staging, which was produced by David Merrick. The musical also received nominations for A. Larry Haine (Featured Actor in a Musical), Edward Winter (Featured Actor in a Musical), Jill O'Hara (Actress in a Musical), Michael Bennett (Choreographer), Robert Moore (Director) and Best Musical.
Promises, Promises ran 1,281 performances and was one of the first mainstream Broadway musicals to offer a commercial pop sound in its score.
The playing schedule for Promises, Promises is as follows: Monday through Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees Saturday at 2 PM, with an added 2 PM Wednesday matinee on April 14. Beginning Monday April 19, the playing schedule is as follows: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM (note the Tuesday, April 20 performance is at 8 PM). Tickets range from $136.50-$56.50.