Friday, June 15, 2007

The Most Farfetched Tony Bounce

The Most Farfetched Tony Bounce

Less than one week after his production of Company won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical, John Doyle is himself a hot property.

In addition to having already lined up a directing gig for the new Broadway-bound Harvey Fierstein musical A Catered Affair, which will world premiere at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre this September, Doyle is "likely" to stage a Public Theater mounting of Stephen Sondheim's Bounce next spring, according to New York Post's Michael Riedel.

In his story, Riedel duly notes the troubled past of the tuner, but explains:

Sondheim and (John) Weidman (who wrote the show's book) have been unwilling to let Bounce die. They get together fairly often at Sondheim's Turtle Bay townhouse to work on the show, and last year the Public staged a private reading of their latest draft. Weidman recently told friends that he and Sondheim believe they've finally solved the show's problems, and that Bounce deserves a New York production.
Riedel says a Broadway transfer is eyed if the reviews are favorable.

I may be one of the few who actually saw the last incarnation of Bounce, taking in its 2003 Chicago Goodman Theatre mounting with Hal Prince at the helm. To be honest, while not exactly the best Sondheim work I've ever seen, it certainly wasn't as bad as its notoriety has made it out to be. Its factually-based story on the rise and fall of Addison and Wilson Mizner held plenty of promise.

Two summers ago, while at Chicagoland's Ravinia Festival for a special concert performance of Sondheim's bona fide Broadway flop Anyone Can Whistle (Ravinia's terrific staging included Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Michael Cerveris), I was heartened by a pre-performance discussion with the great composer himself in which he indicated that the saga of Bounce was far from over. He indicated that he was working to bring the troubled tuner back to his original vision.

If today's Riedel column is any indication, perhaps Bounce is finally ready to be propelled to theatre's main stage on Broadway. Let's hope so.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 29 June, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

According to Playbill, John Weidman has confirmed that Bounce will receive its New York City premiere at the Public Theater sometime in mid-2008.

Weidman is quoted as saying, "Stephen and I have written it and re-written it, and I guess we feel that this last re-write is the one that gets closest to what our original intention was...We feel like we've figured it out, so we'll do it one more time....We're going to do it at the Public Theater in a little over a year from now."


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