Two time Tony-winning director, Julie Taymor (direction and costumes for Lion King) will return to Broadway in the 1999-00 season with the re-staging of her production of Carlo Gozzi's The Green Bird.
Although, no more specific information is available -- e.g., Broadway venue, whether the Off-Broadway cast will return, and dates -- A spokesperson from Theatre of a New Audience, original producers of the show, confirmed the Broadway move (Dec. 17)
The commedia dell'arte play, performed with puppets and half-masks, was written by Italian playwright, Carlo Gozzi in the 18th century, and centers on a pair of orphaned twins, Renzo and Barbarina, as they stumble upon fantastical characters like the singing apples and the dancing water while pursuing the mystical "green bird."
Taymor described Bird to Variety as "thoroughly entertaining, but also having a wonderful grotesquery and poetry to it -- an edgy bawdiness.''
Taymor's Green Bird debuted to critical acclaim at Off-Broadway's New Victory Theatre in spring 1996. The production played only 15 performances and garnered Derek Smith an OBIE award for acting, with other cast members including: Trellis Stepter, Andrew Weems, Didi Conn, Ned Eisenberg, Myriam Cyr, Sebastian Roche, Bruce Turk, Kristine Nielsen, Priscilla Shanks, Lee Lewis and Erico Villanueva. Frequent Taymor collaborator, composer Elliot Goldenthal, told Variety "it's not a full-blown musical,'' but the show "will feature a lot of underscoring music...sort of like carnival music on crack,'' but "also the kind that butts up against sophisticated and delicate sounds.''
The production would be Taymor's third on Broadway, aside from Lion King, her collaboration with Goldenthal - Juan Darien opened at Lincoln Center in December of 1996.
Taymor was named recipient of a 1991 MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, also won by Richard Foreman, Anna Deavere Smith and Bill Irwin. Taymor is currently on work on a film-adaptation of her earlier production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. The film is currently still shooting in Italy and stars Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, and Alan Cumming.