Burt Bacharach and Hal David's original score for this 1968 musical was already known for generating such pop hits as "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," "Knowing When to Leave," and the title tune. But this new revival also interpolates two of the team's standards, "A House is Not a Home" and "I Say a Little Prayer," meaning that listeners can be even more certain that this new disc is worth a spin, particularly when the catchy melodies use Jonathan Tunick's jaunty orchestrations.
There's also the presence of Kristin Chenoweth (as Fran Kubelik) to whom so many of the crossover hits fall. The Tony Award-winning star delivers them with power and passion; but the depth of emotion which she can bring to the songs -- particularly "Knowing When to Leave," which she infuses with both theatricality and a pop singer's flair -- might even take her fans by surprise.
Sean Hayes, in the role of unlikely romantic lead Chuck Baxter, acquits himself admirably, tackling less familiar numbers like the title song and "She Likes Basketball" with aplomb and undeniable charm. Perhaps more important, when he and Chenoweth deliver "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," Hayes matches his co-star both vocally and emotionally and their combined work fills the unforgettable number with bittersweet poignancy.
Other joys on the disc include Tony Goldwyn's heartfelt delivery of "Wanting Things," the gleeful vocals from Megan Sikora, Cameron Adams, and Mayumi Miguel on "Turkey Lurkey Time," and the über-masculine zest that Brooks Ashmanskas, Peter Benson, Sean Martin Hingston, and Ken Land bring to the smarmy (at least by today's standards) "Where Can You Take a Girl."
The elegant booklet that comes with the disc not only provides the lyrics for the songs, but also some marvelous photos that allow anyone who has not seen the show to get a sense of Rob Ashford's frequently dynamic choreography.