Ashford to Direct Promises, Promises Workshop with Hayes and Hathaway

News   Ashford to Direct Promises, Promises Workshop with Hayes and Hathaway
Promises, Promises may be heading back to Broadway. Rob Ashford, who choreographed the new Broadway musical Cry-Baby, will stage a workshop of the Burt Bacharach-Hal David musical at the end of this month.

Sean Hayes
Sean Hayes

The New York Post reports that "Will & Grace" Emmy winner Sean Hayes will play Chuck Baxter in the Promises workshop with film star Anne Hathaway ("The Princess Diaries," "Brokeback Mountain," "The Devil Wears Prada") as Fran Kubelik.

It's a busy time for Ashford, who is also scheduled to direct and choreograph a Broadway revival of Brigadoon. Ashford won his Tony Award for his choreography of Thoroughly Modern Millie and was also Tony-nominated for Best Choreography for The Wedding Singer and Curtains. He also recently staged the London premiere of Jason Robert Brown's Parade.

Promises, Promises is a musical adaptation of Billy Wilder's popular film, "The Apartment," about a corporate shlub named Chuck Baxter, who earns promotions by lending his pad out to executives for sexual liaisons. Things get complicated when Chuck falls for one of the office women, Fran, who is invited to the flat by an exec.

The musical spawned the memorable pop hits "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Promises, Promises," both popularly recorded by Dionne Warwick.

Neil 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 won the 1969 Tony Award for his 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), Marian Mercer (Featured 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.

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