One Night Only: New York Concert of Sondheim's Bounce to Benefit Actors' Fund

News   One Night Only: New York Concert of Sondheim's Bounce to Benefit Actors' Fund
Bounce, the new Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical which in 2003 played Chicago and Washington, D.C., has not made it to Broadway (yet), but New Yorkers will get one chance this season to hear the score live.
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim

The Actors' Fund of America will present the original cast in a concert evening sometime this coming spring, Bounce star Howard McGillin told the audience at the Dec. 18 edition of "Seth's Broadway Chatterbox," Playbill On-Line columnist Wayman Wong confirmed.

"Chatterbox" is a weekly talkfest held at the New York cabaret Don't Tell Mama, hosted by Seth Rudetsky. The shows include interviews and performances from Broadway stars.

No date was specified, but the months of April or May were mentioned. McGillin is currently starring in The Phantom of the Opera. The Chicago and DC Bounce casts starred Richard Kind, Michele Pawk, Herndon Lackey, Jane Powell and Gavin Creel.

A spokesperson at the Actors' Fund was not available to confirm the concert.

In mid-November, producer Roger Berlind announced that he would not be bringing Bounce to Broadway. The decision was not unexpected. Several factors pointed to the prospect that the musical would not venture beyond its Kennedy Center engagement—among them, the fact that the score was recorded by Nonesuch out of town Nov. 10-11; and the southern journey taken by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Theatre on Film and Tape Archive Nov. 15 to capture the production on tape. Both moves bespoke a belief that Bounce would not venture beyond the Beltway. Also not helping matters were the largely poor reviews the tuner received from D.C. and national critics.

"There will be many productions of Bounce in the years to come, but I will not be moving it," Berlind told Variety. "The actors have dispersed. There are no Broadway theatres available."

Unless another producer steps up to the plate, Bounce will be the first Sondheim musical not to reach Broadway in its initial life since 1991's Assassins, and the first Sondheim musical in long memory not to achieve a New York berth at all.


Bounce officially opened at the Kennedy Center Oct. 30. It began previews on Oct. 21, following a world premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, June 20-Aug. 10.

Bounce is inspired by the lives of the colorful, early-20th-century, American capitalists-cum-con artists, the Mizner brothers, their parents, their loves and their endless capers and schemes.

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