- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2003

NEW YORK - “Bounce,” the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical, won’t land on Broadway, at least not under the banner of producer Roger Berlind, who had been expected to bring the show to New York.

“There are no plans to bring ‘Bounce’ to Broadway this season,” Adrian Bryan-Brown, a spokesman for the show, confirmed Tuesday.

Mr. Berlind told Variety, the show-business publication, “There will be many productions of ‘Bounce,’ in the years to come, but I will not be moving it. The actors have dispersed.” He did not immediately return phone calls from AP.

“Bounce,” the first new Sondheim musical since “Passion” in 1994, closed Sunday at the Kennedy Center after a four-week run. New York critics traveled to the District to review the musical, and although several had kind words about Mr. Sondheim’s score, most of the notices were downbeat.

AP called “Bounce” a “lifeless and joy-free look at the Mizner brothers, two early 20th-century entrepreneurs who, among other things, prospected for gold in the Yukon and helped to build Boca Raton during the Florida land boom of the 1920s.”

The New York Times said: “The bounce in ‘Bounce’ is never very high. It’s more like a close-to-the-floor dribble by a basketball player stalling for time.” The Washington Post described the show as “a wan and dramatically shallow musical comedy, the surprisingly uninvolving tale of the rivalry between a mismatched pair of siblings.”

The musical, which starred Howard McGillin and Richard Kind, has had a troubled history. Problems were apparent during its 1999 workshop, when the show, then featuring Nathan Lane and Victor Garber, was called “Wise Guys” and was directed by Oscar winner SamMendes, whohelmed 1999’s “American Beauty.”

Mr. Mendes soon left the project, and Harold Prince, a longtime Sondheim collaborator, came aboard to direct the show, which at one point also was called “Gold!”

“Bounce” had its world premiere in June at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, where the reviews also were not encouraging.

Yet “Bounce” will have an afterlife — at least on compact disc. The musical was recorded last week by Nonesuch, which plans to release a CD of the score next year.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sondheim and Mr. Weidman, who wrote the book for “Bounce,” will have another musical on Broadway this season. A revival of “Assassins,” produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, opens April 22 at Studio 54.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide