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Metro Theatre Centre


Music Burt Bacharach Lyrics Hal David Book Neil Simon

Dates 1-29 April 2006 Venue Metro Theatre, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This 1968 musical based on Billy Wilder's screenplay The Apartment was received warmly on opening night. Ovations went heartily to Peter Jahutka and Karen Taylor, the love interest in this musical. The popular hits "Promises, Promises" sung by Jahutka and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" by Taylor were rendered quite well, just like the original recordings.

I could tell that Peter and Karen really worked hard on these songs which kept running through my head hours after watching the show. The comic relief, Tyler Felbel, playing Dr. Dreyfus, thanks to the one-liners of Neil Simon, also received wild applauses during the curtain call.

The story line goes as follows: Chuck Baxter lends his apartment to various executives of Consolidated Life for their extramarital dalliances. One of them is J. D. Sheldrake whose girlfriend Fran Kubelik, just happens to be the girl beloved by Chuck. Fran eventually reciprocates his feelings after he rescues her from a suicide attempt after J. D. Sheldrake decides to go back to his wife.

Sheldrake played by Dwayne Campbell sang a song which was quite touching: "Wanting things" He also was in tune with the "bad guy" character that he portrayed quite well. The dancing by the ensemble was quite good for an amateur company.

When volunteers dedicate their time and effort for a difficult musical like this, it just surprises me how people can spend their time and effort for free. It's quite admirable, imagine, dancing and singing a repertoire of a dozen and a half songs! Really a lot of dedication, time and effort.

I'd like to congratulate Director Johnny Duncan for a job well done. This is the second time he's done this musical, the first time in 1984. Although there were a few technical glitches such as the microphones which weren't well adjusted so that oftentimes, the orchestra drowned actors' dialogues and songs, yet, overall, it was an entertaining show.

© 2006 Ed Farolan