Promises, Promises is a musical based on the incredible 1960 Billy Wilder film, The Apartment. In the swinging 60s, a young executive is given a promotion in exchange for the upper management using his apartment for their ‘afternoon delights.’ What he doesn’t immediately realize is that his romantic interest is secretly having an affair with the HR manager…in his apartment.
This is a very big musical with many many numbers and dance routines and a lot of complicated storylines with overlapping characters, nuance and innuendos. It’s a lot…very ambitious for any company to take on. However, The Group Rep (GRT) is never shy about ambitious productions and seems to relish the challenges they set. This particular musical demands a good deal of respect, with book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach, and lyrics by Hal David. In fact, you couldn’t get a much higher bar.
The GRT company of players, as usual, takes no prisoners. With their signature passion and verve, they quite literally leap into this big bold musical production. They dance and sing and act their way through this all American tale with polish and panache. It’s all very tongue in cheek and full of saucy misadventure, but at its heart Promises, Promises is a love story.
It’s the love story that makes all the innuendo and shoddy behaviour worthwhile. There’s a real and honest love at the centre of the show, one without shame or judgement, reproach or rebuke. The madcap nature of the 60s and these rather ridiculous and frankly sad sexual capers that many films and plays of the time had at their core is, although very funny, now a bit dated. Perhaps we are all over the risk and the drama, perhaps some of us had parents caught up in it and see the other side. Either way, it’s nostalgia without much reverence and probably a time most would happily leave behind.
But this production’s focus is on the fun of the play. The songs, the show-stopping dance numbers, and the very real connection between the two wonderful leads. It’s that true love that shines through the tawdry and the stereotypical. And that is of course what this show is all about.
GRT once again puts heart and soul into every minute of Promises, Promises. You can feel all the hard work radiating off the stage and the commitment to excellence shines in every line and every maneuver. Bravo to them all for bringing Broadway to NoHo!!
Promises, Promises runs to January 15, so you have some time to see this!
The cast features the talents of Diane Linder (Mrs. Eichelberger), Ray Mainenti (Mr. Dobitch), Hisato Masuyama* (Mr. Kirkeby), Stan Mazin (Dr. Dreyfus), Kevin Michael Moran* (Mr. Sheldrake), Giane Morris (Ginger/Secretary Vocal Ensemble), Andrew Nava (Karl Kubelik/Secretary Vocal Ensemble), Wendy Otto(Mrs. Sheldrake), Lloyd Pedersen* (Dr. Dreyfus), Alec Reusch (Chuck), Cris Reyes (Miss Olsen/Secretary Vocal Ensemble), Rob Schaumann (Mr. Vanderhof), Jackie Shearn (Marge MacDougall/Secretary Vocal Ensemble), Danica Waitley (Fran Kubelik), and Renaud Gordon Warrick (Secretary Vocal Ensemble/Bartender/Victor).
The Production Team
The Production Team includes Brent Beerman (Director), Kathi Chaplar (Musical Director), Lloyd Pedersen (Producer), Paul Reid (Choreographer) and Hisato Masuyama (Choreographer), Mareli Mitchel-Shields (Set Designer), Michael Mullen (Costume Designer), Robbie Myles (Lighting Designer), Alyssa Rae (Assistant Director), Melissa Kaye Botempt (Properties), Stage Manager (John Ledley), and Jay Asher (Music Contractor).
December 9 – January 15, 2023
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm
10900 Burbank Blvd. N. Hollywood, CA 91601