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Promises, Promises - Broadway

Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes star in the revival of this classic musical.


What Is the Story of Promises, Promises?
Based on the 1960 Oscar-winning film The Apartment, this musical comedy tells the story of Chuck Baxter, an ambitious employee of Consolidated Life Insurance Company on his way up. As a bachelor, Chuck has what some of his colleagues desire: an apartment for hanky-panky. With the promise of promotion dangled before him, Chuck lends these senior executives his place for their extramarital trysts. As they get access to his place for their affairs, Chuck gets the key to his aspirations—and a rung (though a lowly one) on the corporate ladder. But Chuck becomes more than a little conflicted when he learns that Fran Kubelik, the object of his affection, is the mistress of his boss, the man who holds the key to both Chuck’s flat and his future.

Should I See It?

What Is Promises, Promises Like?
If you like Mad Men, you’re in luck. This show, set in the swingin’ and stylish early 1960s offers up a charming (if morally dubious) hero in a musical comedy filled with memorable one-liners (courtesy of scribe Neil Simon) and infectious pop tunes (courtesy of songwriting team Burt Bacharach and Hal David). Though the production looks like a confection, the themes—infidelity, losing one’s moral compass, unrequited love—anchor it in reality. Thus, the musical is easy to enjoy, but not empty-headed fun.

Is Promises, Promises Good for Kids?
The very premise of this musical—executives borrowing an apartment to cheat on their wives—makes this show entertainment for grown-ups. If you’re cool with your older children being exposed to infidelity to the nth degree, they will likely enjoy the wit of the dialogue and the bouncy score. But take note: there is a suicide attempt and a drunk scene—not exactly fare for young ones.