Promises, Promises. Book by Neil Simon. Based on the film, The Apartment. Music by Burt Bacharach. Lyrics by Hal David. The original Broadway production opened on 1 December 1968 and was directed by Robert Moore and choreographed by Michael Bennett. The production closed on 1 January 1972, running for a total of 1 281 performances.
Synopsis and Musical Numbers
Chuck is a young, ambitious, likeable, charming and a bachelor who works for the Consolidated Life Insurance Company (HALF AS BIG AS LIFE). The chief executives of the company use his apartment for extra curricular romantic trysts, all promising Chuck repayment in the form of rapid promotion within the company (UPSTAIRS). In the company restaurant works a waitress whom Chuck has always admired from a distance, Fran Kubelik. They chat, and she considers whether she will ever find someone with whom to share her life. Chuck hopes that she might notice him (YOU’LL THINK OF SOMEONE).
J.D. Sheldrake, the personnel director of the company, approaches Chuck with a request for the use of his apartment, with the usual promises (OUR LITTLE SECRET). Sheldrake’s assignation is with Fran – who, in the meantime, has found some common ground with Chuck (SHE LIKES BASKETBALL). Of course, knowing that she is having an affair with Sheldrake complicates things considerably for him. After their meeting, Fran is dumped by Sheldrake and she tries to commit suicide in Chuck’s bedroom (KNOWING WHEN TO LEAVE). Dr. Dreyfus, a doctor, saves her life but suspects that Chuck was the cause of the suicide attempt. Meanwhile, Sheldrake considers his extra-marital dalliances and how he is always WANTING THINGS.
Christmas approaches and the office celebrates (TURKEY LURKEY TIME). Over at Clancy’s Lounge Bar, a confused Chuck chats with Marge MacDougall, an acquaintance from the bar, deciding that A FACT CAN BE A BEAUTIFUL THING. Fran is still dreaming of a perfect man (WHOEVER YOU ARE).
The men in the office discuss their affairs (WHERE CAN YOU TAKE A GIRL?). Sheldrake decides to resume his affair with Fran. CHRISTMAS DAY approaches and Miss Olsen, Sheldrake’s former mistress, decides to tell his wife about his little trysts. Meanwhile, Chuck and Dr Dreyfus try to keep Fran’s spirits up (A YOUNG PRETTY GIRL LIKE YOU). But both Fran and Chuck are really in despair (I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN). Still, Chuck has a plan. Sheldrank meets Chuck to sort things out regarding the use of the apartment he is given the keys, not to the apartment but to the executive bathroom. Chuck believes he has better things to do than work at Consolidated Life Insurance Company and that all the PROMISES, PROMISES he has been given are worth nothing. Instead, he believes that playing cards at New Year with Fran for instance will bring him much more joy and it is him that she finds when she arrives at the apartment.
Purchases from Amazon.com
From left to right above: 1. Promises, Promises 1968 Original Broadway Cast Recording CD. 2. Lost in Boston CD, features cut song from Promises, Promises. 3. Lost in Bostion II CD, features cut song from Promises, Promises. 4. The Story Goes On Liza Callaway CD, features medley from Promises, Promises. 5. The Apartment – the film upon which the musical is based – DVD.