Sondheim and Weidman's Bounce Will Bow at Public Theater This Fall

News   Sondheim and Weidman's Bounce Will Bow at Public Theater This Fall
 
The Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman musical Bounce will land at the Public Theater in October, according to a casting notice.

Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim

Performances are slated to begin Off-Broadway Oct. 28 and continue through Nov. 30, with a possible extension through Dec. 28, according to a casting notice. Tony Award-winning director John Doyle, who previously confirmed he was attached to a fall Public staging of Bounce, will direct the musical that traces the lives of the rich, colorful and scheming Mizner brothers. Rehearsals are scheduled to begin Sept. 16.

The Public Theater has not yet officially announced the production as part of its 2008-09 season. Dates on a casting notice do not necessarily reflect exact production dates.

For the Public production, Doyle reunites with his 2006 Company orchestrator and musical supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who has signed on as musical director.

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-lyricist, guiding two of Sondheim's musicals – Sweeney Todd and Company – back to Broadway to critical acclaim. Doyle earned a Tony for his direction of Sweeney Todd and saw Company earn the 2007 Tony for Best Revival. Both productions had actors also doubling as musicians. This is not to be the case for Bounce. Spanning 40 years, 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. The score was preserved on a cast recording on the Nonesuch Records label.

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

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