Representatives for the Public Theater could not confirm the 2017 production, but stated, “We are happily developing the Buñuel project with Stephen Sondheim and hope to present it in the near future but no set date has been confirmed.”
The Public Theater previously staged the world premiere of Sondheim and John Weidman’s Road Show in 2008.
Sondheim revealed the news during a talk back at the Glimmerglass Festival this past weekend.
The project, said Sondheim, is two acts, the first based on Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), the second The Exterminating Angel (1962). The musical, Sondheim said, is about “trying to find a place to have dinner.” The first deals with interruptions to dinner, the second is about “people who have dinner and can’t leave,” which “is my cheerful view of the world today.”
Sondheim said, “We’re in touch with the Buñuel estate … we will have commercial musical rights,” referring to The New York Times’ review that morning of Thomas Ades’ opera version of The Exterminating Angel which premiered at the Salzburg Festival last week. Ades, Sondheim said, had “opera rights” to the movie, adding, “I will not hear any more about (the opera version) except what I read in The Times today…(the musical version) will be own style, my own voice.”
Sondheim also alluded that another A Little Night Music is “coming up,” but that he “couldn’t talk about it.”