Promises, Promises
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo Courtesy of Pacific Alliance Stage Company

Pacific Alliance Stage Company presents the musical Promises, Promises at Spreckels Performing Arts Center in beautiful Rohnert Park. Though the story, written by Neil Simon, is dated and a little lame, the music, written by Burt Bacharach with lyrics by Hal David, adds a much-needed dimension.

With songs we all remember, like Iíll Never Fall In Love Again and Promises, Promises, this is a very entertaining musical for the holidays. The talented Jason Sherbundy conducts a seven-piece orchestra, and Tom Segal choreographed the dance numbers. The two principal singers, Brian Herndon playing Chuck Baxter and Kimberly Jensen (Fran Kubelick) make good music together as does the rest of the cast. As far as comedy and drama are concerned, veteran Bay Area actor Robert Parnell steals the show as Doctor Dreyfus.

The main problem is that most of the comedy hinges on a 60ís brand of male infidelity. Several married executives take advantage of Chuck Baxter, a junior employee who loans out his apartment so these married executives can carry on affairs with their secretaries. In exchange he gets many promises of promotion. Most of this stuff simply isnít funny.

But if you can get past the dull predictable story, you are rewarded with some fine song and dance numbers, particularly in Act II. Itís also the second act where the comedy takes off, due mainly to Parnell, and the love story begins to sing its way into the audienceís heart.

For tickets or more information call (707) 588-3400 or visit www.spreckelsonline.com.

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