(Randy Lewis’s article appeared in the LA Times, 12/1; via Matt Trueman, the Guardian, 12/5.)

Reporting from San Diego — — On a recent afternoon of rehearsals for his new musical, "Some Lovers," Burt Bacharach looks nothing like the hip, handsome, nattily dressed composer of an extraordinary run of pop hits in the 1960s and '70s, written with lyricist Hal David.

Instead of the stylish sweaters, crisp turtlenecks, meticulously creased slacks and cut blazers he was known for, Bacharach is outfitted in a gray sweatsuit, white socks and silver running shoes. On this day he is dressed for one thing: work.

"I've never worked hours like these," says Bacharach, 83, in a sub-basement rehearsal space at the Old Globe Theatre complex. He is immersed in preparations for his first stage musical since 1968, when he and David set the story of Billy Wilder's classic film "The Apartment" to music and turned it into "Promises, Promises."

In front of him are the show's four actors who portray one couple, Molly and Ben, at two points in their relationship: during the youthful first blossoming of romance, and 20 years later after the bloom has faded from the rose.

Bacharach is one of about a dozen people in the room, but somehow his chair, which sits behind a utilitarian folding table serving as a production desk, becomes the center of the room.


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