"SNL" Star Molly Shannon to Succeed Katie Finneran in Broadway's Promises, Promises

By Adam Hetrick
and Andrew Gans
September 8, 2010

"Saturday Night Live" veteran Molly Shannon will wrap herself in owl feathers this October. The Emmy Award-nominated comedienne will succeed Tony Award-winning actress Katie Finneran in the Broadway revival of Promises, Promises.



Finneran earned a 2010 Best Featured Actress Tony Award for her portrayal of the amorous, booze-loving Marge MacDougal.  The two-time Tony winner married her husband, actor Darren Goldstein, in August and the two are expecting their first child. As previously reported, Finneran will exit Promises, Promises Oct. 10. Shannon will join the production Oct. 12.

Shannon will play a limited 11-week engagement in Promises, Promises. She will depart the production Dec. 26, which will also mark the final performances of Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth and her Tony-nominated and Emmy Award-winning co-star, Sean Hayes.

Promises, Promises will also be a mini reunion for Shannon and Tony Award nominee Hayes, who stars as Chuck Baxter. Shannon guest-starred as freaky friend Val Bassett on "Will & Grace," in which Hayes starred as Jack McFarland.

In addition to her work on "Saturday Night Live," Shannon has appeared on "Glee" and starred in the recent series "Kath & Kim." Her films include "Superstar," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Marie Antoinette" and "Talladega Nights."

Directed and choreographed by Tony and Emmy Award winner Rob Ashford, Promises officially opened April 25 at the Broadway Theatre.

The cast also features Tony Goldwyn as J.D. Sheldrake, Tony Award winner Dick Latessa as Dr. Dreyfuss, Brooks Ashmanskas as Mr. Dobitch, Helen Anker as Miss Olson, Peter Benson as Mr. Kirkeby, Seán Martin Hingston as Mr. Eichelberger and Ken Land as Jesse Vanderhof with Cameron Adams, Ashley Amber, Wendi Bergamini, Nikki Renee Daniels, Sarah Jane Everman, Chelsea Krombach, Keith Kuhl, Ian Liberto, Matt Loehr, Mayumi Miguel, Brian O'Brien, Sarah O'Gleby, Adam Perry, Megan Sikora, Matt Wall, Ryan Watkinson and Kristen Beth Williams. 

Promises features a score by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and a book by Neil Simon. Based on the 1960 Academy Award-winning Billy Wilder film "The Apartment," the musical, according to press notes, "tells the story of the Consolidated Life Insurance Company and Chuck Baxter, one of its charming young employees. In an effort to advance at the company, Chuck lends executives his apartment for their extramarital romantic trysts. But things become slightly complicated when Fran Kubelik, the object of Chuck's affection, becomes the mistress of one of his executives."

The production features scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by Bruce Pask, lighting design by Donald Holder and sound design by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, with music direction by Phil Reno and dance music arrangements by David Chase.

The 1968 musical was nominated for Best Musical at the 1969 Tony Awards. The score includes "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," "Knowing When to Leave," "Where Can You Take a Girl?," "You'll Think of Someone," "Turkey Lurkey Time," "A Fact Can Be a Beautiful Thing," "Wanting Things," "Whoever You Are" "Half As Big As Life," "Basketball," "Upstairs," "A Young Pretty Girl Like You" and the title tune. "I Say a Little Prayer" and "A House Is Not a Home" have been interpolated into the score for this revival.

Promises is produced by Broadway Across America (John Gore, Thomas B. McGrath, Beth Williams), Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, The Weinstein Company/Terry Allen Kramer, Candy Spelling, Pat Addiss, Bernie Abrams/Michael Speyer and Takonkiet Viravan/Scenario Thailand in association with Michael McCabe/Joseph Smith and Stage Ventures 2009 No. 2 Limited Partnership. Beth Williams is the executive producer.

Tickets are available by visiting telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.

Highlights from Promises, Promises: