Sondheim writes new musical and hopes to stage it next year

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Stephen Sondheim, the 91-year-old composer and lyricist widely regarded as one of the greatest musical theater artists in history, is writing another show and has said he hopes a production will be presented. next year.

“I’ve been working on a show for a few years with a playwright named David Ives, and it’s called ‘Square One’,” Sondheim said Wednesday night during an appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” “And we had a read of it last week, and we were encouraged, so we’re going to move forward. Hopefully we’ll do that next season.

Sondheim did not reveal any further details and did not immediately respond to an email seeking clarification. But actor Nathan Lane, in an appearance earlier today on “Today,” said he took part in the reading last week.

“I just read a new musical from Sondheim,” Lane said. “It was very exciting. Bernadette Peters and me. A whole bunch of wonderful people.

“Square One” is a version of a project that Sondheim and Ives have been thinking about for years, but which they put aside as they tried to write a musical adaptation of two Luis Buñuel films. Both projects were developed in association with producer Scott Rudin, who retired from theatrical production after renewed media attention regarding his bullying behavior towards his subordinates and collaborators. Sondheim once said he hoped for a production of the musical Buñuel in 2017, but that did not happen, and last year he told the Public Theater, which had planned to stage the comedy. Buñuel musical, which he no longer worked on, that’s how it is.

In the meantime, Sondheim fans will have plenty of opportunities to revisit his work. Steven Spielberg is directing a new film adaptation of “West Side Story”, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, which is scheduled to open on December 10. Sondheim wrote the lyrics for this 1957 musical.

Additionally, a revival of “Company”, in which the genres of the protagonist and several other characters have been swapped, is set to premiere on November 15 and open on December 9 on Broadway. The revival, directed by Marianne Elliott and starring Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone, had nine premieres before theaters closed in March 2020. Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for the show.

Off Broadway, the Classic Stage Company plans on November 2 to begin performances of a star-studded revival of “Assassins,” directed by John Doyle, who has also been delayed by the pandemic. Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for this show.

And the “Encore!” program in downtown New York includes a cover of “Into the Woods”, directed by Lear deBessonet and starring Sara Bareilles as the baker’s wife, next May. Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for this show.


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