Four decades after its theatrical debut, the first Broadway revival of “Promises, Promises” is getting the star treatment with help from leads Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth. The latest staging of Neil Simon’s musical, with music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David, opened April 25 at Broadway Theatre.
Hayes makes his Broadway debut as Chuck, a menial businessman at Consolidated Life Insurance Company whose bosses make regular use of his apartment for their extramarital affairs. Chenoweth plays opposite him as the object of Chuck’s (and his boss’) workplace desires, Fran.
Based on Billy Wilder’s screenplay for “The Apartment,” the book has undergone a bit of revision since it was first staged on Broadway in 1968. The timeline has been shifted back to 1962 and a couple extra songs are thrown in as fodder for Chenoweth’s character. Legit critics have questioned the necessity and execution of these alterations, and the production has received only middling reviews.
“Promises” entered previews on March 27 and is booked into an open-ended run. Most weeks, the production stirred up an average capacity of 98 percent in its 1,747-seat house, except in the week ending April 18, when capacity fell to just 86 percent.
Regular ticket prices range from $56.50 to $136.50, while premium seating options are available from $176.50 to $301.50 on select performance dates. Weekly box office receipts have been at or above the $840,000 mark, with gross ticket sales rising to $988,313 last week, according to numbers from the Broadway League.
Performances are scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinee showtimes are set for 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
“Promises, Promises” runs about two hours and 40 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission. The Broadway Theatre is located at 1681 Broadway in New York, NY. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Promises, Promises”
|Variety||Steve Suskin||“…changes have been made to the material that turn out to be ill-advised — changing the emphasis, slowing the momentum, and throwing sand into the gears of [Neil] Simon’s laugh machine.”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“‘Promises, Promises’…comes fully to life only briefly, at the beginning of the second act, when a comic volcano named Katie Finneran erupts into molten hilarity.”|
|USA Today||Elysa Gardner||“…after an uneven and at times tiresome two and a half hours, you’ll leave ‘Promises’ unfulfilled.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||Frank Scheck||“[Sean Hayes] delivers a winning, low-key turn in which he also displays his superb timing and gift for physical comedy.”|
|TheaterMania||David Finkel||“…Chenoweth proves once more that she knows how to deliver a song with steely finesse…”|
|Wall Street Journal||Terry Teachout||“Not only is it dully staged, but it’s so miscast that even Kristin Chenoweth, normally one of Broadway’s hottest commodities, looks like she showed up at the wrong theater.”|