“Nothing is signed, sealed and delivered yet, but we are very much in advanced discussions to make that happen,” said Babani, who is the artistic director at Southwark’s Menier Chocolate Factory, where the acclaimed revival of Sondheim and Lapine’s 1984 musical opened in November 2005.
Asked if the New York production would retain Daniel Evans (George) and Jenna Russell (Dot) in the lead roles, Babani said, “That would be great. But there are so many factors involved. It would end up not really being our choice, more one of logistics and finance. But they (Evans and Russell) have certainly been discussed in a very positive way."
With Broadway producer Boyett Ostar, Babani took Sam Buntrock’s acclaimed production from the Chocolate Factory to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre in May where it ran until Sept. 2. It was the first London production of the Sondheim work since the musical’s U.K. premiere at the National Theatre in 1990.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning show is based on the pointillist masterpiece “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by post-impressionist painter Georges Seurat.
This latest production featured an abridged second act and animation by projection designer Timothy Bird. In the show, the cutting-edge technology brought Seurat’s work to life, allowing the figures in the painting to move around David Farley’s white-walled set. Bird and Farely received the Critics’ Circle’s Best Design Award for their work.
Babani was unable to say when the deal might be signed. “It could be weeks, it could be the summer,” said the producer, who will be 29 next week. “But honestly, I’ve never done this before. It’ll be my first Broadway show. I’m learning alongside everyone else.”