Sondheim’s ‘Bounce’ goes Public

Off Broadway theater unveils 2008-09 slate

The latest teaming of Stephen Sondheim and helmer John Doyle and a new play by John Guare that will star Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def are among the offerings of the 2008-09 season at Off Broadway’s Public Theater.

Also on the bill are a new solo show by Danny Hoch (“Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop”), the latest from scribe Christopher Durang (“The Marriage of Bette and Boo”) and a new Craig Lucas play directed by Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific”).

The season kicks off with “Bounce,” the Sondheim tuner that preemed in Chicago in 2003 but has never been seen in Gotham. Doyle, helmer of recent Rialto revivals of Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” and “Company,” directs the musical, about the adventures of a pair of brothers in early 20th century America. Show is slated for a fall run.

Wright and Mos Def, who starred together on the Rialto in the Public’s production of “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002, reunite with “Topdog” helmer (and former Public a.d.) George C. Wolfe for Guare’s “A Free Man of Color.” Historical comedy, planned for a winter slot, takes place in 1802 New Orleans.

Lucas’ “The Singing Forest” will bow in the spring in a production helmed by Sher. Plot follows three generations of a family in a story that touches on the Holocaust as it moves from the 1930s to modern day.

Latest by Durang, the black comedy “Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them,” centers on a paranoid woman’s fears that her husband is a terrorist. Show will have its world preem in the spring.

Hoch takes on Gotham gentrification in solo show “Taking Over,” which plays the Public in the fall. Tony Taccone (“Bridge & Tunnel”) directs.

Also on the Public slate is “If You See Something Say Something,” a homeland security-themed monologue by Mike Daisey, and “The Good Negro,” a drama set in the South during the 1960s civil rights movement. A co-production with Dallas Theater Center, the play by Tracey Scott Wilson (“The Story”) was developed this spring by the Public Theater Lab.

The Public also has announced the second of two 2009 offerings for its annual summer season of Shakespeare in the Park. JoAnne Akalaitis will helm a new production of “The Bacchae,” with music by Philip Glass. Nicholas Rudall provides the adaptation of the Euripides play.

First production of the 2009 Shakespeare in the Park lineup remains to be announced.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • David-Alan-Grier-Blair-Underwood

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood to Star in 'A Soldier's Play' on Broadway

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood will star in a Broadway production of Pulitzer-Prize winning drama “A Soldier’s Play.” The play, written by Charles Fuller, is set in 1944 and follows a murder mystery centered around the death of black Sergeant Vernon C. Waters (played by Grier) who is found on a Louisiana army base. [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Announces Broadway Cast

    After an Olivier-winning run in London, “The Inheritance” is gearing up for its Broadway debut. The two-part epic has set the cast for its transfer from the West End to the Great White Way. John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Andrew Burnap and Kyle Soller are among the cast members reprising their roles [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Announces 2020 National Tour

    ‘Hadestown’, the eight-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is set for a national tour in 2020. The show will stop in more than 30 cities including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and more. The musical is a stage adaptation of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His 'Best Self' in the Theater

    Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of [...]

  • Photo: Jeremy Daniel

    'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' Gets Broadway Run

    “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is Broadway bound. The musical adaptation of the franchise about a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Poseidon hits the Great White Way on Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 16 opening night. It comes on the heels of an extensive, nationwide tour that took the show [...]

  • Tom Sturridge Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Celebrate 'Sea Wall/A Life' With Star-Studded Opening Night

    A star-studded audience looked on as Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge returned to the stage for their double monologue performance in “Sea Wall/A Life.” Theater-goers and celebs including Anne Hathaway, Tom Hiddleston and John Mulaney gathered in Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre for opening night, celebrating a show tackling grief, birth and death through the eyes of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content