Bounce (2003 Original Cast)
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Top Customer Reviews
OVERTURE - very much in the standard 1950s musical comedy style. An opening fanfare ("Boca Raton") leads to a lively playing of that tune, followed by "The Game", then the show's key ballad: "The Best Thing that Ever Has Happened", followed by the theme of "Gold!" and ending with a restatement of the "Boca Raton" theme.
BOUNCE - an old-fashioned vaudevillian soft shoe number. It's a catchy tune because the main melodic theme gets several repeats.
OPPORTUNITY - The opening line ("One Day Lose, the next day win") reappears later as the opening line of the first version of "The Game" among other places.
GOLD! - The first appearance of this tune and if you know Copland's "Appalachian Spring" and "Hoedown" from the RODEO ballet, you'll hear echoes of both here. That said, it not a totally satisfying number because the lyrics take the lead and the music never quite develops into satisfying whole.Read more ›
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.
"Bounce" tells the story of the Mizner brothers, whose peculiar journey started during the Gold Rush, and took them all the way to Alaska. The brothers, played impeccably by Richard Kind and Howard McGillin, couldn't be more different: Addison (Kind) is a closeted homosexual and sensitive Mama's boy; Wilson (McGillin) is a suave cad who falls hard for Nellie (the always terrific Michele Pawk), a dancer/grifter in Nome.
From there, they go to pretty much everywhere, and many problems ensue: Addy cannot come to terms with his sexuality; Wilson becomes addicted to drugs; and Nellie is an alcoholic. Addy and Willie's beloved mother (Jane Powell) dies towards the end of the first act. Addy falls in love with a rich young rebel, Hollis (Gavin Creel), who returns his affections, but, since this is Sondheim after all, nothing can turn out right.
After seeing this show in previews at the Kennedy Center, I can definitely testify that this show has several problems (mostly the book, and the fact that Gavin Creel was so incredibly underused), but the score is not one of them. It offers traditional Sondheim, with witty, esoteric lyrics and gorgeous voices.
Hopefully, this show will make it to Broadway in the near future. Until then, we can be glad that this lovely cast album was made.
I never thought I'd ever hear a mediocre Sondheim score, until I put this on for a listen.. just some thoughts..
1) For a show that's supposed to be quasi vaudvillian in style, this recording has precious little energy.
2) If there is a 30 + person orchestra playing Mr. Tunick's orchestration, then why does this all sound so muted?
3) Mr. Sondheim is definitely recycling stuff.. I can hear things from several shows, especially "Merrily" "Passion" "Assassins" and "Forum" but most of this material doesn't seem to feel like it has completeness.
4) I'm not getting the sense why we should care for these brothers..
5) Like Merrily, and Into The Woods, the score seems to be made of "I've learned this" and "I know this now" kinds of songs, but most of the sentiments about bouncing back and trying to succeed have been heard before in other Sondheim shows..
I'm wondering whether the earlier versions of this show was better... almost as if time and too much work has killed the excitement.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent example of Sondheim's later works. Terrible plot, delightful music.Published 9 months ago by Walter J. deFaria
I greatly regret that I was unable to see "Bounce" while showing at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 2003. I remember that the Chicago reviews were mixed. Mr. Read morePublished on May 18, 2012 by Judith Kay McGee
This is an interesting CD, but only because Socdheim has now worked the show up into something title RaodShow which has just been given an airing in London at the Menier with some... Read morePublished on July 4, 2011 by W. Russell
This show has the same problem as Boch and Harnick's "Rothschilds" - lots of craft and obvious talent, but who gives a damn that members of a family cornered the market using... Read morePublished on April 24, 2007 by John Ellis
With so many great musicals written by Mr. Sondheim, efforts such as "Bounce" seem flimsy in comparison. Read morePublished on December 19, 2006 by AJK
Sonheim is one of the days best composers, but we all have bad days right? This was Sondheims bad day. Read morePublished on October 8, 2006 by ~Amante
I caught the Goodman Theatre production in Chicago and enjoyed it immensely, although it was obviously greatly flawed. Read morePublished on May 7, 2006 by theta
Someone said, anyone Sondheim is better than no Sondheim. Listening to, and knowing we will probably never see Bounce out here; re-inforces everything we know about him. Read morePublished on December 6, 2004 by Ozejohn