11 Things You Need to Know About Sondheim’s Next Musical

News   11 Things You Need to Know About Sondheim’s Next Musical 1. Turning 85 today, Stephen Sondheim is at work on a new musical, tentatively titled All Together Now.

Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim Photo by Jerry Jackson/courtesy of HBO

2. It has a libretto by David Ives, best known for the plays All in the Timing, Venus in Fur and the recent Off-Broadway production Lives of the Saints, but who also supplied librettos for Broadway musicals as diverse as Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Dance of the Vampires.

3. The two have been working on the show since before February 2012, when it was first announced.

4. It will be based on two of Spanish director Luis Buñuel's films, "The Exterminating Angel" and "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," both involving off-kilter dinner parties.

5. Buñuel (1900-1983) is an avant-garde filmmaker, perhaps most famous for his short 1929 film "Un Chien Andalou," in which a person’s eyeball was sliced open with a razor.

6. "The Exterminating Angel" was made in Mexico in 1962, and depicts a group of middle-class guests at a fancy dinner party who find themselves unable to leave. Watch the trailer here.

"The Exterminating Angel"
"The Exterminating Angel"

7. "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972) is also set at a middle-class dinner party, but guests find themselves unable to sit down to eat, but instead are subjected to a series of bizarre, dreamlike happenings. Watch it here.(Registration required.)

8. The tentative title of Sondheim’s musical, All Together Now, was also used for an unrelated musical Sondheim began to write with Terrence McNally in the early 1990s, but abandoned.

"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie"
"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie"

9. It may be a while before we get to see it. Sondheim told the Times of London in mid March that the show is coming along slowly. But Ives exclusively told Playbill that the two are "working away" at the composer-lyricist's home.

10. What’s next? Once the show is done, Sondheim said, he wants to do a workshop before a full production.

11. All Together Now is scheduled to debut at the Public Theater, which also hosted the premiere of Sondheim’s last full-length musical, Road Show, in 2008.

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