Original Cast Bounce (Original Cast Recording)
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 autumn 2003 Kennedy Centre 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". 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, Amazon.com