Steven Sater and Burt Bacharach Craft a New Christmas Tune With Some Lovers

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24 Dec 2011

Burt Bacharach
Burt Bacharach

Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening book writer-lyricist Steven Sater and Academy Award-winning composer Burt Bacharach are putting the groove back in Christmas with Some Lovers, the new musical that is currently debuting at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

The ghosts of Christmases past and present come to life in Some Lovers as a couple traces the journey from where love began to where it was lost, while taking a page from O. Henry's holiday-themed parable "The Gift of the Magi." Will Frears directs the world-premiere engagement, which officially opened Dec. 7 for a run through New Year's Eve.

Some Lovers marks Bacharach's first foray back into musical theatre since his 1968 musical Promises, Promises, which introduced audiences to "Knowing When to Leave," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and the title song.

For Sater, who grew up listening to Bacharach's music, the project is a lifelong dream. Following his Broadway hit Spring Awakening, co-written with Tony-winning composer Duncan Sheik, Sater was courted by music publishers who asked if there were any other songwriters he'd be interested in writing with.

"I'd say, 'OK, Burt Bacharach,' and they'd say, 'Great, we know Burt. OK, who else?'" Sater laughed. A few months later Sater finally got his wish: a meeting with the legendary hit-maker.

"We had a lovely meeting at his home," Sater recalled, "and as we were getting up to leave, Burt said, 'If you ever have a lyric you want to show me, please [do].' I said, 'Oh, I brought one.'"

Before Sater was out the door, Bacharach was reading the lyrics out loud. "This is good. We've all felt this," Bacharach said. Several weeks later, Bacharach invited Sater back to his home to listen to what he'd been up to. Sater described it as a "beautiful classic Bacharach song. I was ravished by it – it was like reeling back in time. I couldn't believe it was happening to me even as it was happening to me."


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