Members of the creative team behind Promises, Promises, due to begin previewing on Friday (13 January), have revealed they are working on the European premiere of Burt Bacharach’s second original musical Some Lovers.
Aria Entertainment’s Katy Lipson and Senbla’s Ollie Rosenblatt will present an industry-only workshop reading of the show written by music legend Bacharach and Grammy Award-winning writer Steven Sater (Spring Awakening) at the Southwark Playhouse on Friday 17 February.
Bacharach’s first new score for the theatre since Promises, Promises in 1968, Some Lovers was described as a Valentine to New York when it made its debut in San Diego nearly six years ago.
Inspired by O. Henry’s short story The Gift of the Magi, the show is a love story set over a 20-year period featuring a cast of four playing two characters caught between the present and the past.
The workshop reading will be directed by Tim Sheader and will feature the score by Bacharach and Sater arranged by Jonathan Tunick.
A statement released by the workshop’s producers reads: “We are delighted to be workshopping Burt Bacharach’s second original musical, which has never been seen or heard this side of the Atlantic. Burt fans heard a song from the show called ‘Hush’ during his recent concert performances in the UK. We hope this will be the first steps to staging a full production.”
The first major London production of Promises, Promises since its 1969 West End premiere, directed by Bronagh Lagan, will play the Southwark Playhouse from Friday 13 January until Saturday 18 February with a press night on Tuesday 17 January.
The distinctive sixties musical based on Billy Wilder’s classic movie The Apartment brought together three of the biggest names in entertainment, the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David and Neil Simon.
Featuring a number of timeless pop songs, the multi award-winning show premiered on Broadway in 1968 with Jerry Orbach and Jill O’Hara in the leading roles.
The West End production which starred Tony Roberts and Betty Buckley opened a year later and the original cast album won a Grammy Award. Dionne Warwick had international hits with the title song and ‘I’ll Never Fall in Love Again’ which was also a hit in the UK for Bobby Gentry.
A 2010 Broadway revival of the show featuring Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes and Wicked’s Kristin Chenoweth included two extra Bacharach and David classics ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ which was already a million selling hit by Warwick, and ‘A House is Not a Home’. Both songs will also be included in the new London production.
The creative team for the Southwark Playhouse production will include musical director Elliot Davis, choreographer Cressida Carré, set and costume designer Simon Anthony Wells, sound designer Andrew Johnson and casting director Jane Deitch.