‘Black Orpheus’ Musical to Bring Bossa Nova to Broadway

Black Orpheus Broadway musical Lynn Nottage
Walter McBride/Getty Images

Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage will write the book for the show, to be directed by George C. Wolfe.

Pulitzer-winning playwright Lynn Nottage (pictured above) and director George C. Wolfe (“Lucky Guy,” “Angels in America”) have signed on to a brewing Broadway musical adaptation of Marcel Camus’ 1959 film “Black Orpheus.”

The score of the production will be drawn from the film, which helped introduce the wider world to Brazilian bossa nova with tunes by composers including Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa and Vinicius de Moraes.

No precise timeline has yet been set for the show, which comes from producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, both behind the all-black stagings of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “A Streetcar Named Desire”),  as well as Paula Marie Black. Producers currently plan to premiere “Black Orpheus” on the Main Stem without an out-of-town tryout.

Based on a play by Moraes, “Black Orpheus” resets the Orpheus myth in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. The movie won the Palme d’Or at Cannes as well as the Oscar for foreign language film.

The show looks poised to be the Broadway debut for Nottage, who won a 2009 Pulitzer for her play “Ruined.” Wolfe’s Rialto credits including “The Normal Heart” and “Caroline, or Change.”

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  1. bkrayz says:

    Bossa Nova the Afro Latin (mostly Latin, regardless of Josef Ben Josef) way to the hearts of America. I see a beautiful black woman and a racially ambiguous Latin male dancing to the horizon. No love for decidedly black men.


    • brasilnegro says:

      If true to the film or the original play, that should not be the case. I will assume you have not seen the film, whose male lead was far from racially ambiguous. Perhaps you were making a different point though…

  2. Will MacAdam says:

    I can’t imagine a more gloriously gifted person to helm this project. George will, as always, crate magic.

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