Sondheim-Weidman Bounce Begins Rehearsals for DC Run

News   Sondheim-Weidman Bounce Begins Rehearsals for DC Run The cast and crew of Bounce, the new musical by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, and directed by Harold Prince, has begin work on the second leg of what may become a journey to Broadway.

Rehearsals are currently underway in New York City, and will commence on Oct. 6 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

The Washington run begins Oct. 21 and lasts until Nov. 16. Bounce had its world premiere June 20-Aug. 10 at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.

Since then, Sondheim and Weidman have been busy working on revisions. At a recent public talkback at the Ravinia Festival, where his musical Passion was being performed in concert, the composer said he was writing "one and a half new songs" and that Weidman was "taking two sequences and compressing them for dramatic purposes." Other revisions will concern the first scenes of the show, where the story's premise and characters are introduced.

"I have a feeling," Sondheim said, "that we are not making clear to the audience what the show is about."

Sondheim added that Bounce remained basically the same show at the end of the Goodman run that it was at the start of previews. A Broadway berth following the Kennedy Center engagement remains a distinct possibility. Roger Berlind and Arielle Tepper are the attached commercial producers.

Chicago notices for the brand new work—which is several years in the making—were mixed. Some critics thought the piece needed further definition, while others charges the creators should give the whimsical piece a more serious presentation and the lead characters of Addison and Wilson Mizner a more pointedly symbolic resonance. Good marks were posted for the performers Richard Kind and Michele Pawk and several reviewers found much to admire in the Sondheim score.

Bounce is inspired by the lives of the colorful American capitalists-cum-con artists, the Mizner brothers. John Weidman (Sondheim and Prince's collaborator on Pacific Overtures) wrote the libretto of the musical, which has been in earnest development for several years under different producers and in different versions and with different titles.

The Chicago Bounce company of 19 actors, singers and dancers was led by Gavin Creel, Richard Kind, Herndon Lackey, Howard McGillin, Michele Pawk and Jane Powell in the principal roles. The lead actors will all repeat their work in Washington.