The all-star cast will feature Francois Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Jin Ha, Rachel Bay Jones, Denis O’Hare, Steven Pasquale, David Hyde Pierce, and Jeremy Shamos. Understudies include Bradley Dean, Adam Harrington, Bligh Voth, Adante Carter, Mehry Eslaminia, and Lindsay Nicole Chambers.
Inspired by two Luis Buñuel films, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, Here We Are has music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Ives.
The Off-Broadway production will also have choreography by Sam Pinkleton, set design and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Tom Gibbons, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical direction and supervision by Alexander Gemignani, hair design by Wigmaker Associates, and casting by The Telsey Office.
The musical has been in the works since at least 2014 and was developed by The Public Theater in 2016. In 2021, The New York Times reported that Sondheim and Ives had abandoned the project. But conflicting reports in the months after reported that the pair was not done with the idea. Sondheim died in 2021, with the musical unfinished.
Tony winner Michael Cerveris, who had been part of the 2016 Public Theater workshop, told the Times that while the first act of the musical was nearly complete, the second was “sketched out, but still awaiting much of the music.”
“It was an appropriately surreal, unnerving, and often hilarious piece,” he added. “And Steve was, as ever, experimenting with some fascinating, complex musical structures which David’s sensibilities seemed to suit really well, I thought.…The marriage with Buñuel felt pretty right for the times, and the world has only gotten darker and weirder since then. I’d have loved to see it come to be. But then, I will always want more Sondheim in the world.”
Said Sondheim shortly before he passed to the Times of his musical: “The first act is based on The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and the second act is based on The Exterminating Angel ... I don’t know if I should give the so-called plot away, but the first act is a group of people trying to find a place to have dinner, and they run into all kinds of strange and surreal things, and in the second act, they find a place to have dinner, but they can’t get out.” During that same interview, Sondheim admitted he didn't know when the musical would be finished.
The producers are Tom Kirdahy, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, and The Stephen Sondheim Trust. The musical is co-presented by The Shed. Oscar Arce serves as associate producer.
Tickets will go on sale July 20 at noon on TheShed.org. Shed member pre-sale begins July 18.