Sondheim & Weidman's Bounce Is Now Called Road Show; Cast Announced

By Kenneth Jones
12 Aug 2008

Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani
Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Road Show is the new title of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's new musical — once known as Bounce — The Public Theater announced Aug. 12. The fall Off-Broadway production, directed by John Doyle, will star Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani as the Mizner brothers.

Doyle, who won a Best Direction Tony for the recent revival of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and also directed the recent Company and A Catered Affair on Broadway, will also provide scenic design for the newly revised musical.

This marks the property's New York City premiere. Performances will play Oct. 28-Dec. 28 at The Public's Newman Theater. Opening is Nov. 18. The production is expected to be a hot seller given the fact Sondheim is revered in American theatre; the Tony Award-winning songwriter famously changed the course of musicals with such groundbreaking work as Company, Follies, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd.

The Public Theater announced complete casting for Road Show, a tale of American dreamers who scramble for success, identity and love in the early 20th century. Music and lyrics are by Sondheim, and the book is by Weidman, who previously collaborated together on the musicals Assassins and Pacific Overtures.



With a new director and a new title, some changes since the property's earlier production occurred. The show's developmental titles over the years also included Wise Guys and Gold! Directors Sam Mendes and Harold Prince were attached to earlier versions; the latter director staged the world premiere of Bounce for a co-production that played The Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in 2003. That score is preserved on a cast recording.

"The song 'Bounce' is no longer in the show, but the tune is," the composer told Playbill's Harry Haun in recent days. "It's slightly amended, and it has different lyrics. I utilized the tune, with some variations and a new lyric."

The Road Show cast of 15 will feature Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani as the two Mizner brothers, Wilson and Addison, respectively.

"Over the last three years, John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim have done transformative work on the project we have now re-titled Road Show," Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis said in a statement. "John Doyle has assembled an extraordinary team of actor-singers, and I am confident that the result will be a revelation."

Here's Road Show in a nutshell: "Spanning 40 years from the Alaskan Gold Rush to the Florida real estate boom in the '30s, Road Show is the story of two brothers whose quest for the American dream turns into a test of morality and judgment that changes their lives in unexpected ways."

The cast includes Cerveris (John Doyle's Sweeney Todd on Broadway) as Wilson Mizner; Alma Cuervo (Wicked national tour) as Mama; Aisha de Haas (Caroline, or Change on Broadway) in the Ensemble; Claybourne Elder (White Widow at Times Square Art Center) as Hollis; Colleen Fitzpatrick (Mother Courage and Her Children at Shakespeare in the Park) in the Ensemble; Gemignani (John Doyle's Sweeney Todd on Broadway) as Addison Mizner; Mylinda Hull (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Broadway) in the Ensemble; Mel Johnson, Jr. ("Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") in the Ensemble; Orville Mendoza (Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare in the Park) in the Ensemble; Anne L. Nathan (Roundabout's Sunday in the Park With George on Broadway) in the Ensemble; Tom Nelis (Iphigenia 2.0 at Signature) in the Ensemble; William Parry (Passion on Broadway) as Papa; Matt Stocke (The Wedding Singer on Broadway) in the Ensemble; William Youmans (The Farnsworth Invention on Broadway) in the Ensemble; and Kristine Zbornik (A Catered Affair on Broadway) in the Ensemble.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Oct. 12, but Public Theater memberships are available now.

Doyle received the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards as Outstanding Director of a Musical for his Broadway debut, Sweeney Todd. His Broadway production of Company won the Tony for Best Musical Revival. Last season, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut with Peter Grimes.

Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Assassins and Passion, as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear a Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide.

Weidman received a Tony nomination for Best Book for the original production of Pacific Overtures. He wrote the book for Assassins (2004 Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), and the book for Big (Tony nomination, Best Book). Weidman co-authored, with Timothy Crouse, the new book for Lincoln Center Theater's revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival; Olivier Award, Best Musical Production). He co-created Contact (Tony nomination, Best Book; Tony Award, Best Musical) with choreographer-director Susan Stroman. Since 1986 he has written for "Sesame Street," receiving 11 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Children's Program. Weidman is president of the Dramatists Guild of America.

The Road Show performance schedule is Tuesdays at 7 PM; Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 PM; Saturdays at 2 PM and 8 PM; and Sundays at 2 PM and 7 PM.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets are $80 for Saturday evening performances and $70 for all other performances. Student tickets are available in advance, at the box office only, for $25 (1 per ID). There are a limited number of Rush Tickets sold an hour before curtain at every performance available to the general public (two per person, $20 each, cash only).

To purchase tickets call (212) 967-7555 or visit www.publictheater.org.