Promises, Promises Debuts at the San Francisco Playhouse on November 18th
Photos by Lauren English, Member of AEA
San Francisco Playhouse (Artistic Director Bill English & Producing Director Susi Damilano) have announced casting for their holiday show, a revival of the 1968 Broadway hit Promises, Promises to be directed by Bill English.
The cast will feature actors that are well known to Playhouse audiences: Jeffrey Brian Adams (Prince from Into the Woods), Monique Hafen* (Into the Woods, Camelot, My Fair Lady) and Johnny Moreno* (Camelot, My Fair Lady, Period of Adjustment) in the lead roles with Morgan Dayley, Joe Estlack, Rudy Guerrero*, Kathryn Fox Hart, Corinne Proctor* Steven Shear and Leah Shesky.
Nominated for four Tony Awards and based on the 1960 Oscar-winning Billy Wilder film The Apartment, this raucous comedy features a book by Broadway legend Neil Simon with songs by the powerhouse writing team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, including such hits as “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “Knowing When to Leave,” and the title song, “Promises, Promises.”
If you like Mad Men, you’re in luck. Infused with the swinging energy of early 1960s Manhattan, Promises, Promises tells the story of a lovelorn young executive and a romantically troubled waitress, knotted in a twist of sexual affairs and corporate shenanigans. In this apartment, office romances collide with office politics as you’ve never seen them before.
Chuck Baxter has what many of his colleagues want: a spacious, fashionable apartment ideal for mischief. With the promise of promotion dangling before him, Chuck lends some of his senior executives his place for their extramarital trysts. In exchange, Chuck gets the key to his aspirations—and a lowly rung up on the corporate ladder. For a while, life is bliss. That’s before Chuck learns that the object of his own affection is the mistress of his boss, the man who holds the key to Chuck’s two greatest properties: his flat and his future.
Burt Bacharach (Composer) has helped define the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. His music is as diverse as his audiences, spanning generations and continents, as he is celebrated as a pop culture icon and one of the world’s greatest contemporary composers. Bacharach’s credits read like the world’s favorite radio station’s playlist: “Alfie,” “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” “Close to You,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “The Look of Love,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “This Guy’s in Love with You,” “Walk on By,” “What the World Needs Now is Love,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’” and “That’s What Friends Are For” are among a few of his 48 Top 10 hits, nine #1 songs, more than 500 compositions and a landmark 50+ year run on the charts. He is the recipient of the 2011 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress, following previous winners Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. A recipient of three Academy Awards and eight Grammy Awards (including the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award and 1997 Trustees Award with collaborator Hal David), Bacharach’s music continues to set industry records and creative standards.
Hal David (Lyrics) has his name on 20 gold records and has won several Grammy Awards; he also has received the Presidential Award from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) and the B’Nai B’rith Creative Achievement Award. As a recipient of the Ivor Novello Award, he became the first American to achieve that honor. In 1984 he was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame; and in 1996 he and Burt Bacharach received the coveted Johnny Mercer Award from the national Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2011, the Hall also presented David with its Visionary Leadership Award, and in 2004, named “What the World Needs Now is Love” as its “Towering Song.” ASCAP estimates that the song has been aired on the radio more than 2 million times. David holds honorary doctoral degrees from Lincoln College in Illinois and Claremont Graduate University.
Neil Simon (Book) is one of America’s most popular and prolific playwrights represented by works including Come Blow Your Horn, Little Me, Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, Plaza Suite, Promises, Promises, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Gingerbread Lady, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Sunshine Boys, The Good Doctor, God’s Favorite, California Suite, Chapter Two, they’re Playing Our Song, I Ought to Be in Pictures, Fools, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Broadway Bound, Rumors, Lost in Yonkers, Jake’s Women, The Goodbye Girl, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, London Suite, Proposals, Hotel Suite, The Dinner Party, 45 Seconds from Broadway, Oscar and Felix, Rose’s Dilemma, The Out-of-Towners, The Heartbreak Kid, Max Dugan Returns, and the books Rewrites and The Play Goes On. His plays have won numerous Tony Awards, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Lost in Yonkers.
Bill English (Director/Artistic Director), an accomplished singer, pianist and composer, has spent his life producing works of art. He co-founded San Francisco Playhouse, and in ten years, has overseen its growth from a storefront to a major regional theater company, with a 6-play main stage series, a 2-play World Premiere series, an education program and a New Works program that has commissioned 10 playwrights. Bill’s vision propels San Francisco Playhouse to stand out among its peers for making bold choices and taking artistic risks. Bill’s work in the theater has been recognized with numerous awards for acting, directing, sound and set design. Under Bill’s leadership The San Francisco Playhouse, has earned multiple nominations and awards.
Kimberly Richards* (Choreography) launched her versatile career forty years ago as an actress, aerialist, choreographer, comedienne, dancer, director, and illusionist. She co-starred (with Louis Parnell) in the SF Playhouse’s first production, It Had to Be You. Her choreography for the Playhouse: Animals Out of Paper, Coronado, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, First Day of School, Landscapes of the Body, and Abe Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party (with Tom Segal), which won Best of Fringe at the 2009 NY Fringe Festival, and My Fair Lady for which she won the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. Other Bay Area choreography includes Miss Sally’s Speakeasy Revue (Belrose); Private Eyes (DreamStackers); Tommy (One World Productions); Heaven, The Mineola Twins, Popcorn, and Pterodactyls (SF Actors Theater). Kimberly’s Las Vegas choreography includes Lady and the Outlaws (Country Club Casino), and Too Hot to Handle (Flamingo). Since 2001 she performs the hit one-woman show Late Nite Catechism across the continent.
Founded by Susi Damilano and Bill English in 2003, San Francisco Playhouse was described by the New York Times as “a company that stages some of the most consistently high-quality work around,” and deemed “ever adventurous” by the Bay Area News Group. Located in the heart of Union Square’s Theater District, San Francisco Playhouse is the city’s “Off-Broadway” company, a powerful intimate alternative to the larger, more traditional city venues. San Francisco Playhouse provides audiences with the opportunity to experience professional theater close up, produced by top-notch actors and with world-class design. The company has been awarded a range of accolades for acting, design, and production including the SF Weekly’s Best Theatre Award and The Bay Guardian’s Best Off-Broadway Theatre Award. Presenting a diverse array of plays and musicals, San Francisco Playhouse produces new works as well as re-imagined classics, “making the edgy accessible and the traditional edgy.” The company’s 2012-2013 Season marked its 10th anniversary and as it moved to a newly renovated venue, The San Francisco Chronicle raved that “the company that lived a hand-to-mouth existence for its first few years has become the little playhouse that could. It quickly established a reputation for attracting some of the Bay Area’s best acting and directing talent, as well as for its exciting play choices. And with its bold Sandbox Series, it’s become a player in developing new works as well.” San Francisco Playhouse is committed to providing a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, designers, directors, theatergoers and writers converge to create works that celebrate the human spirit.
Promises, Promises Previews November 18-21 at 8pm, Opens November 22nd 8pm, Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm Saturdays at 3pm and Sundays at 2pm. NO SHOW: November 27, December 24, 25 or January 1st.
San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post Street (2nd Floor of Kensington Park Hotel, b/n Powell & Mason)
For tickets ($20-$120) or more information, the public may contact The San Francisco Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or www.sfplayhouse.org.