In the poignant musical rendition of alcoholism, “Days of Wine and Roses,” a toast is raised, culminating in shattered glass. Joe (Brian d’Arcy James), a Korean War veteran entrenched in the murkier realms of 1950s public relations, introduces Kirsten (Kelli O’Hara), his boss’s alluring secretary, to the allure of what he calls “magic time” – the realm of drinking. What begins as a journey fueled by the bottle’s granting of wishes—happiness, love, and professional success—soon unravels as the perils of spirits unfold.
Reuniting composer Adam Guettel with playwright Craig Lucas, known for their collaboration on 2005’s “The Light in the Piazza,” the result is a work that mirrors ambition, artistry, and musical sophistication. Unlike the sweeping romanticism of Piazza, this musical delves into intimacy and introspection, creating an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. Joe and Kirsten, nearly the sole voices in this 105-minute musical, navigate a shrinking world that reflects their shared isolation.
Guettel’s score, reminiscent of a chamber opera, explores moments of drunken euphoria through cocktail jazz and art-song expressions. O’Hara scats bebop to herself in “Are You Blue?” while the band, conducted by Kimberly Grigsby, delivers intricate underscoring. The demanding material finds impeccable interpreters in O’Hara and James, showcasing their vocal prowess and acting finesse. Byron Jennings, portraying Kirsten’s heartsick Norwegian father, adds exceptional support.
Adapting from JP Miller’s original works, Guettel and Lucas introduce changes that resonate with modern audiences. The mention of Alcoholics Anonymous is discreet, and Kirsten’s role expands. Michael Greif’s elegant production maintains a period ambiance without resorting to clichés, gracefully transitioning between scenes. The potential for melodrama is carefully moderated, omitting Joe’s visits to the sanitarium, ensuring a sober yet compelling narrative.
“Days of Wine” may not be a galvanizing experience, given its refined nature, but it effectively imparts sobriety. After witnessing this production, one might find themselves reaching for a drink, or perhaps, swearing it off entirely.
FAQ About Days of Wine and Roses
What movie is Days of Wine and Roses in?
In “Days of Wine and Roses” (1962), directed by Blake Edwards, the film follows a couple, played by Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick, as they grapple with alcoholism. Lemmon’s character hustles in San Francisco.
What happens in movie Days of Wine and Roses?
It is available on Prime Video, featuring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. The film explores the downward spiral of two individuals grappling with alcohol use disorder.
Who sang Days of Wine and Roses in the movie?
Days of Wine and Roses” features Andy Williams singing the film’s soundtrack, earning a gold record. Mancini and Mercer received a Grammy for Song of the Year and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The film realistically portrays alcoholism’s diverse impacts, hinting at impending tragedy.