Catered Affair's Doyle Will Direct Bounce for Fall Bow at the Public

News   Catered Affair's Doyle Will Direct Bounce for Fall Bow at the Public Tony Award-winning director John Doyle, currently represented on Broadway with the new musical A Catered Affair, will helm Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's latest musical, Bounce, in a full production at the Public Theater.
John Doyle
John Doyle Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Doyle confirmed to Playbill.com columnist Harry Haun that he will direct the Sondheim-Weidman musical this fall at the Off-Broadway venue.

Speaking about the musical that concerns the ambitious Mizner brothers, Doyle said, "That will be happening in the fall and down at The Public, so I'm very excited about it. It's not a workshop. We're going to do the whole thing. We're doing it for real."

Doyle previously alluded to the project at the sold-out April 7 Ladies Who Sing Sondheim concert, which he also staged. The Public Theater has yet to announce the production as part of its season.

The Public's connection with Bounce dates back to 2006 when Eric Schaeffer helmed an industry reading featuring Richard Kind and Bernadette Peters. Bounce librettist Weidman – in a 2007 interview with Playbill.com – also mentioned that the musical would find a home at the Public during the 2008 season.

Doyle has done well by the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, guiding two of Sondheim's musicals – Sweeney Todd and Company – back to New York with critical acclaim. Doyle earned a Tony for his direction of Sweeney Todd and saw Company earn the 2007 Tony for Best Revival. Bounce follows the personal and professional adventures of brothers Addison and Wilson Mizner. An exploration of the boldness and darker shadows of the American spirit, the musical is also a personal story of those who are willing to risk it all to grab a piece of the American dream.

The musical comedy has undergone several workshops, titles and rewrites, with Sam Mendes at one time attached as the director of the then-titled Wise Guys in 1999.

Sondheim's long-time collaborator and fellow theatrical innovator Hal Prince staged the world premiere of Bounce in 2003 at the Goodman Theatre. The production marked the first professional reunion of Prince and Sondheim since Merrily We Roll Along in 1981.

Bounce was originally to have made its way to Broadway in 2004 following engagements at the Goodman and the Kennedy Center. Producer Roger Berlind scuttled Broadway plans for the musical, and the project has been available to theatre aficionados only through its cast recording from Nonesuch Records.

The Goodman cast included Richard Kind, Howard McGillin, Michelle Pawk, Gavin Creel, Herndon Lackey, and Jane Powell.

No casting or dates have been announced for the Public Theater run.