Bounce: It is reported that the Public Theater wants to produce Sondheim's musical

The New York Post reports that the Public Theater is interested in presenting Sondheim's musical Bounce (music and lyrics by Sondheim, book by Weidman) in the spring of 2008, in the hope that the show will transfer to Broadway. The latest draft of the musical had a private reading at the Public theater last year.

Bounce has had a troubled history. Sam Mandes directed a workshop production of the musical, then titled 'Wise Guys' at the Off-Broadway New York Theatre Workshop from 29 Oct - 20 Nov 1999, with Victor Garber and Nathan Lane playing the eccentric Mizner brothers on which the musical is based.

The workshop, produced by Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind, Dodger Theatricals and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, was said to be disastrous, mainly because Sondheim and Weidman were unable to provide a secnd act.

Bounce finally had its world premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in 2003, produced by the Goodman Theatre and directed by Harold Prince, with Richard Kind and Howard McGillin playing the Mizner brothers.

The musical was not well received by the critics and the run was interrupted by a bitter multi-million lawsuit between Sondheim and the musical's original producer Scott Rudin, who claimed he had exclusive rights to exploit the work in a theatrical presentation.

The New York Post also reports that the production is likely to be directed by John Doyle. Doyle is the director of the present Broadway revival of Sondheim's Company which won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Revival, as did Doyle's revival of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd last season.

According to the report Sondheim and Weidman are still committed to Bounce, and the duo regurlarly meet up to work on the musical.

The paper also reports that Weidman has told friends that he believes that problems with musical have been resolved and that it is now deserves a New York production.

Bounce tells the story of Addison and Wilson Mizner's adventures across America in the early 20th century, from Gold rush Alaska to Florida in the 1920, and of how they swindled, and then lost a fortune.

Originally published on

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