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A 1968 musical comedy adaptation of the Billy Wilder film The Apartment, with a book by Neil Simon and songs by the pop composer team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The musical follows the exploits of Chuck Baxter, a hapless schmuck who is busy trying to work his way up in the world of business by allowing his superiors the use of his apartment for their romantic trysts, all while trying to win the heart of Fran Kubelik, the waitress he's long admired from a distance.

The show was notable for being the Bacharach-David team's only foray into musical theater—Bacharach by his own admission was something of a control freak regarding the show, and seemed to feel that without him personally conducting the orchestra every night, there was no guarantee the music would sound the way he intended. Regardless of how he felt about theater, the show was well-received and spawned a few hit songs (the title number, as well as "I'll Never Fall In Love Again"). Notable among the original cast members is a 33-year old Jerry Orbach as Chuck, in a role that won him a Tony.

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A 2010 revival with Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth received mixed reviews but was still commercially successful. Despite that, it closed in January 2011 due to Hayes and Chenoweth deciding to not re-up their contracts and the producers deciding to not recast the leads.

Not to be confused with Promises! Promises! a 1963 Sex Comedy film starring Jayne Mansfield.


This play contains examples of:

  • All Musicals Are Adaptations
  • Christmas Songs: "Turkey Lurkey Time", "Christmas Day"
  • Driven to Suicide: Fortunately, said suicide attempt is unsuccessful.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The opening of Act 2.
  • Executive Excess: J.D. Sheldrake follows the same beats as his film counterpart. A powerful personal manager at the insurance agency Chuck Baxter works at, Sheldrake is also a serial philander, who regularly cheats on his wife with multiple women and is eager to exploit Baxter's apartment to do so with his latest target Fran Kubelik. However, as opposed to the originals depiction as a manipulative sleazy executive, this version of Sheldrake is portrayed as somewhat more sympathetic and complex, with him getting an entire song ("Wanting Things") devoted to him trying to understand why he is constantly drawn to affairs and can't be content with the family he has.
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  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Chuck, frequently.
  • "I Am" Song: "Half as Big as Life" (Doubles as an "I Want" Song)
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Chuck does this occasionally.
  • Irrelevant Act Opener: Averted—the goofy dance number "Turkey Lurkey Time" is instead located at the end of Act One, while the second act opens with a more plot-relevant song.
  • "I Want" Song: "Wanting Things", naturally.
  • Lemony Narrator: Chuck's narration tends to be a little...offbeat, to say the least.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Karl was the husband of Fran's sister in The Apartment, but the play made him Fran's brother, instead.
  • Rewritten Pop Version: Both the title song and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" were recorded by Dionne Warwick and became hits during the original run.
  • The '60s: The revival is actually set earlier in the 1960s than the original, presumably to capitalize upon the popularity of Mad Men.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Chuck's responses to Fran in "You'll Think of Someone", due to the fact that he Cannot Spit It Out...until after she leaves, that is.


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