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Bounce (2003 Original Cast)

3.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 4, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bounce ~ Original Cast

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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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture
  2. Bounce
  3. Opportunity
  4. Gold!
  5. Gold! (Part 2)
  6. What's Your Rush
  7. The Game
  8. Next To You
  9. Addison's Trip
  10. The Best Thing That Ever Happened
  11. I Love This Town
  12. Isn't He Something!
  13. Bounce
  14. The Game
  15. Talent
  16. You
  17. Addison's City
  18. Boca Raton Aftermath
  19. Get Out Of My Life
  20. Bounce


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00011FWWY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,618 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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 it is usually to help the listener establish links with what has been heard before. 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!
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.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
It took Sondheim ten years to follow up his 1994 masterpiece "Passion", and when "Bounce" made its debut in Chicago during the summer of 2003, many didn't know what to make of it. It played later that year at the Kennedy Center in DC, but, lacking the finances, did not come to Broadway. It's too bad, because, although there are quite a few flaws, "Bounce" really is a wonderful score.

"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.
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Format: Audio CD
I did not see the production upon which this recording is based. However, my love of Sondheim's music has originally come from hearing the Original Cast Recordings from his shows.
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.
Ahh well....
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