The new Stephen Sondheim musical BOUNCE closes this Sunday after a three month run at Chicago's THE GOODMAN THEATRE.
Book by John Weidman
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Harold Prince
Choreographed by Michael Arnold
Set Design by Eugene Lee
Costume Design by Miguel Angel Huidor
Lighting Design by Howell Binkley
Sound Design by Duncan Robert Edwards
Hair and Wig Design by David H. Lawrence
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Musical Director David Caddick
Dance Arrangements by Robert Lindsey Nassif
Addison Mizner - Richard Kind
Wilson Mizner - Howard McGillin
Nellie - Michelle Pawk
Hollis Bessemer - Gavin Creel
Mamma Mizner - Jane Powell
Ensemble: Sean Blake, Marilynn Bogetich, Tom Daugherty, Jeff Dumas, Deanna Dunagan, Nicole Grothues, Rick Hilsabeck, Herndon Lackey, Jeff Parker, Harriet Nzinga Plumpp, Jenny Powers, Craig Ramsay, Jaquelyn Ritz, Fred Zimmerman
Notes on the play
"The Mizner boys were at least as famous for their wit as for their escapades of fortune. Wilson was the laureate of one-liners whose offhand quips have become part of the common parlance. One of his biographers, Alva Johnston, said Wilson's bon mots were of two sorts. The first entailed "bringing a calm spirit to bear on boiling emotion." The second used "fantastic exaggeration." Though Wilson's attained greater notoriety, Addison also had a knack for witicisms. With humorist Ethel Watts Mumford, Addison contrived The Cynic's Calendar. This lucrative publication twisted the epigrams and platitudes of the day: "In the midst of life we are in debt," and "God gives us our relatives - thank God we can choose our friends." Here follow some of the choice selections from the Wilson Mizner canon:
"Flesh beats scenery"
"Your ninety-proof breath could start a windmill in an old Dutch painting. If I put a wick in you, you would burn for three years."
"Always hit the man with a catsup bottle. Then he'll think he's bleeding to death."
"An honest crook doesn't stand a chance against a political crook."
"Wrestling is not a sport. It is an inferior brand of Shakespearean comedy."
"If you steal from one author, it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's research."
"Oh, the place almost made a good picture once, but they caught it just in time. But don't get me wrong. I love Hollywood.'
Hollywood: "It's a trip through a sewer in a glass bottom boat."
"Stop dying. Am trying to write a comedy." - Wilson's telegraphed reply to news that Addison was near death.
On his deathbed: "much obliged, Padre, much obliged. But why bother? I'll be seeing your boss in a few minutes... I don't expect too much. You can't be a rascal for forty years and then cop a plea the last minute. God keeps better books than that."
"I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education."
"You sparkle with larceny."
"You're a mouse studying to be a rat."
"I never saw a mob rush across town to do a good deed."
"Most open minds should be closed for repairs."
"Be nice to people on your way up because you'll meet them on your way down."
Though I am a longtime Sondheim fan who adores "A Little Night Music", "Sweeney Todd", "Pacific Overtures" and "Follies", I had trouble with this one.
I did not care for the characters and wanted most of the songs to end much sooner than they did. Act II had some magical moments. Though I applaud the effort to create a new musical in this era of revivals and the Mousifcation of Broadway, I would assume BOUNCE will go through many changes before hitting Broadway.
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