Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen Sondheim, Richard Kind, Howard McGillin|
Bounce (2003 Original Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Bounce is a pretty accurate title for this Sondheim show, which receives a cast album after having been seemingly everywhere but Broadway. In a way this is fitting for a musical that's been on Sondheim's mind since 1952, w... more »
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Bounce is a pretty accurate title for this Sondheim show, which receives a cast album after having been seemingly everywhere but Broadway. In a way this is fitting for a musical that's been on Sondheim's mind since 1952, when he first read about the adventures of the two Mizner brothers in The New Yorker. Based on this Fall 2003 Kennedy Center production, figuring out why Bounce doesn't quite click is tricky. Is it the heard-it-before quality of the material? The title track is disappointingly by-the-numbers Sondheim, for instance. Or is it the uneven cast? Howard McGillin lacks the outsize personality needed to infuse life into scheming Wilson Mizner (a part played by Nathan Lane in a 1999 Off-Broadway "workshop" of the show, then titled Wise Guys). But then Michelle Pawk does wonderfully in the sultry ballad "What's Your Rush?" before eclipsing McGillin in their duet, "The Best Thing That Ever Has Happened." Got it! Bounce may not work as a show, but a few of its songs are bound to show up in a cabaret near you sooner rather than later. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
BOUNCE - a work in progress
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 08/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On stage, BOUNCE offered some interesting musical sequences side by side with an awkward book that spent a good deal of time telling us a story without ever fully explaining why this particular story should interest us.
Stephen Sondheim's scores are thoroughly composed to weave together information about the story and characters. Whether the music is pure and simple, or more complex, it serves specific purposes. When song fragments are reprised they provide specific links to what has happened earlier. This is the major reason why his scores stand up to repeated listens...each time you go through the score you will become aware of more subtle details. Few composers writing for the theatre today understand this. The sooner they do, the better musical theatre will be!
No doubt that the authors will revise BOUNCE and it may yet have a Broadway production. The CD proves the show has many fine musical sequences in Act One and virtually all of Act Two is pure gold. Consider it a work in progress.
Correction to Amazon's Review & General Comments
Kevin B. Burk | San Diego, CA United States | 06/16/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Nathan Lane played ADDISON in the Wise Guys workshop. Victor Garber played Wilson. These are two of the most accomplished musical theatre stars working today. They had depth, power and range that make Richard Kind and Howard McGillin look like summer stock understudies. The cast of Bounce was uniformly second-rate. A better cast wouldn't save the show-the show has some fundamental problems. But from a production standpoint, the cast did not help the show at all. I've heard the workshop recording of Wise Guys, and saw Bounce in Chicago. There's definitely a compelling story to be told about the Mizner brothers; however, Bounce doesn't tell it. Wise Guys didn't tell it either, for that matter, but it was much closer to finding it. Telling the story of all of the things the Mizners did in their lives is not interesting in and of itself. On the other hand, if the real story is about how sibling rivalry and competition for the love and affection of their mother played out on such a global scale-THAT could make for a compelling evening of theatre. I would love to have seen a show that truly led up to "Get Out of My Life.""
dramadude 186 | Grayson, Georgia United States | 06/21/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I never thought I'd use the word disappointing to describe a Sondheim score, but that's exactly the word for "Bounce." This cast recording, despite the introduction's assertions to the contrary, does not shed any new light on a show which received mostly lukewarm reviews. So where did Mr. Sondheim, who even with this blemish on his record is still the best composer musical theatre has ever seen, go wrong?First is the very repetitive nature of the score. Much has been said about how the earliest songs in the show are developed into richer, more complex tunes, and this is true. However, the result is that numbers like "Gold" and "The Game" end up feeling more like the introduction of something larger rather than standing on their own. Also, because so many themes are reused and repeated, the score sounds as if it only has about three or four real songs that are merely repeated over and over again.As other reviewers have pointed out, these problems might have been less glaring with a more talented cast. However, the likes of Howard McGillin, Richard Kind, and Michelle Pawk just are not up to the task. Sondheim and Hal Prince seem to have favored actors who can carry a tune rather than truly sing, and while this has worked for Sondheim in the past (witness Elaine Stirtch in the original "Company"), it falls flat here. Only Richard Kind is remotely likeable, and he happens to have the worst voice of the three. I also would like to point out that Michelle Pawk is getting a lot of undue praise for "What's Your Rush?," which is really just too low for her (and also one of those songs that seems more like and introduction than a full-fledged song).These two problems combine to effectively cripple the show. I know Sondheim writes for his actors, so if he had more accomplished vocalists perhaps he could have written more impressive songs. If the cast was more vocally talented, perhaps the repeative nature of the score wouldn't be as apparent. At any rate, "Bounce" is quickly forgetable and one of Sondheim's worst efforts to date.So are there ANY bright spots? The group numbers can be entertaining, and Gavin Creel does a great job with "Talent." Other than that, this show needs a lot of work before its ready for Broadway. I believe this in entirely possible (I know that "Sunday in the Park" and "Passions" didn't really come together as shows until halfway through previews), and maybe then we will be treated to a more enjoyable cast album. As things stand, Sondheim nuts (like me) will buy it just because, but all others should pass."