Sondheim and Weidman's Bounce to Get Reading at Public Theater Feb. 6

By Robert Simonson
06 Feb 2006

Bounce, the Stephen Sondheim musical that played Chicago and Washington, DC, in 2003, but failed to reach New York, will be given a reading at The Public Theater Feb. 6.



The Public has not confirmed the personnel involved, but sources close to the venture have Eric Schaeffer (Putting It Together) directing, and Richard Kind and Bernadette Peters in the cast. Kind was part of the 2003 company and was generally praised for his portrayal of Addison Mizner, one of the scheming, early 20th century Mizner brothers. (He was nominated for a 2003 Joseph Jefferson Award.) Howard McGillin played the other sibling, Wilson, in the regional productions.

Sondheim and Weidman are returning to an early version of the script, one that was tried out years ago in a workshop at New York Theatre Workshop, sources confirmed. The writers plan to make new revisions.

The reading is not open to the public.

Bounce officially premiered at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, June 20-Aug. 10, 2003. It then travelled to the Kennedy Center Oct. 21. The intention was to bring the show to Broadway, but ultimately producer Roger Berlind decided not to move Bounce forward, making it that rare Sondheim show that didn't reach Gotham.

The show, however, was recorded Nov. 10-11, 2003 and the cast album released by Nonesuch on May 4, 2004. Orchestrations were by Jonathan Tunick, musical direction by David Caddick, and the recording was produced by Robert Hurwitz and Tommy Krasker.

The reading would seem to indicate a renewed hope that the show will have a New York production.

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, prior to 2003, had been in earnest development for several years under different producers and in different versions and with different titles.

The Chicago and DC Bounce company of 19 actors, singers and dancers also featured Gavin Creel, Herndon Lackey, Michele Pawk and Jane Powell in the principal roles. Harold Prince directed, reuniting with Sondheim for the first time since the two men's multiple triumphs (Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd) during the 1970s.