Theater News

Sondheim No Longer at Work on Luis Buñuel Musical

Development on the production, which has been in the works since 2014, has officially stopped.

Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(© David Gordon)

Work has stopped on a new Stephen Sondheim musical based on two films by Spanish surrealist director Luis Buñuel, the New York Times reports.

News of the musical, which was to be inspired by the films The Exterminating Angel and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, first broke in 2014. Sondheim's original collaborator on the production, which was said to be about a group of friends trying to dine together at the end of the world, was book writer David Ives. According to various publications, Ives may have departed the project at some point in the last half-dozen years, with Jeremy Sams eventually coming on as a replacement.

Various mini-readings and workshops of the show — dubbed Buñuel in the press, but, according to Sondheim, never officially titled that — had been held through the years at the Public Theater, with Joe Mantello directing. Various actors involved through the years reportedly included Michael Cerveris, Shuler Hensely, Heidi Blickenstaff, Sierra Boggess, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Michael C. Hall, and Jennifer Simard.

Sondheim, 91, did not respond to the New York Times story with comment, though a spokesperson for the Public told the publication that the composer had informed them last year that the musical was no longer in development.