On May 31, 1967, the theatre column in the New York Times announced that David Merrick would be producing two new musicals. One of them was to be a musical version of The Apartment. The article said that Neil Simon would write the book, Burt Bacharach would write the music, Hal David would write the lyrics, and Bob Fosse would direct and choreograph. The article mentioned that the rights to adapt the film as a musical had previously been held by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne.
The other musical that the Times mentioned was a show called The Girls Upstairs, a collaboration between James Goldman (book) and Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics). Merrick was to co-produce the show with Leland Hayward. That show would later be retitled Follies. Under that title, it was produced and co-directed by Harold Prince.