Nilo Cruz, Sergio Mendes, Sergio Trujillo

'Black Orpheus' musical plans 2023 Broadway premiere

The show will have workshops and out-of-town runs in 2022 before premiering in New York.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Brazil is coming to America in 2023! Black Orpheus, a new musical based on the 1956 Brazilian play Orfeu de Conceição, is in development for Broadway. In 2022, the show will have a developmental workshop and an out-of-town run at a regional theatre to be determined, ahead of a planned Broadway premiere in 2023.

Nilo Cruz, a 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner for his play Anna in the Tropics, will adapt Vinicius de Moraes's Orfeu de Conceição script into the musical's book. Black Orpheus also features original bossa nova music by Grammy Award-winning Brazilian singer Sergio Mendes. The musical will be directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, a 2019 Best Choreography Tony Award winner for Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.

"America has never been the same since the new wave of Brazilian music came north and washed over us, and we are especially honored to be collaborating with Sergio Mendes who is one of the main architects of Brazilian pop, and whose musical genius will fit right at home on Broadway - at long last, and especially at a time when we will be welcoming the world back to New York City, with open arms," producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey said in a statement.  

Black Orpheus is a reimagining of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, setting their love story in a Rio de Janeiro favela, or shantytown, during the annual Carnival festival. The musical will combine elements of the original play and its 1959 film adaptation, also titled Black Orpheus. That film won the 1959 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

A Broadway musical adaptation of Black Orpheus was previously planned for 2014, with a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and direction by George C. Wolfe; however, that production never premiered.

Dates, casting, and venues for the upcoming pre-Broadway and Broadway runs of Black Orpheus have yet to be determined.

Originally published on

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