Promises, Promises (Broadway Theatre) never counted for much to me. This 1968 musical version of Billy Wilder's The Apartment replaces the movie's painful undertow with push and gags (often ingenious ones, by Neil Simon). Skilled acting, by stars not inherently comic, restored the pain for that original production. Rob Ashford's new revival, frenetically aerobic and sleek, stars Sean Hayes, so busy knowing he's funny that you never believe the hero's suffering, and Kristin Chenoweth, the Teflon actress, to whom no emotion ever sticks. Two awkwardly interpolated Bacharach-David hits from the period demonstrate what second-rate stuff (excepting "I'll Never Fall in Love Again") the team turned out for the show's actual score. In supporting roles, Tony Goldwyn and Dick Latessa inject some momentary reality into the metallic gloss.

The Punk White Way: Sands, Gallagher Jr., and Esper in American Idiot
Paul Kolnik
The Punk White Way: Sands, Gallagher Jr., and Esper in American Idiot


American Idiot
By Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Mayer, and Green Day
St. James Theatre
246 West 44th Street, 212-239-6200

Sondheim on Sondheim
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Roundabout Studio 54
254 West 54th Street, 212-719-1300

Promises, Promises
By Neil Simon, Hal David, and Burt Bacharach
Broadway Theatre
1681 Broadway, 212-239-6200

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