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SERGIO MENDES TO MAKE BROADWAY DEBUT WITH “BLACK ORPHEUS” MUSICAL; BOOK BY NILO CRUZ, DIRECTION AND CHOREOGRAPHY BY SERGIO TRUJILLO, NEW MUSICAL WILL PREMIERE IN 2023
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 01:25 pm EST 01/20/22
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:24 pm EST 01/20/22

NEW MUSICAL STAGE ADAPTATION OF
"BLACK ORPHEUS"
TO HAVE DEVELOPMENTAL WORKSHOP
AND
REGIONAL THEATRE RUN
IN 2022
AHEAD OF WORLD PREMIERE ON BROADWAY
IN 2023

FEATURING MUSIC FROM THE ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING
MOTION PICTURE

BOOK BY PULITZER PRIZE WINNER
NILO CRUZ

ADDITIONAL MUSIC BY GRAMMY AWARD WINNER
AND BRAZILIAN SUPERSTAR
SERGIO MENDES

DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY TONY AWARD WINNER
SERGIO TRUJILLO

New York, NY (January 20, 2022) – Producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey proudly announced today that a new musical stage adaptation of Black Orpheus, featuring a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz, original music by Grammy Award winner and Brazilian icon Sergio Mendes, and direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo, is being readied for its world premiere production on Broadway during the 2022-2023 season. A developmental workshop and an out-of-town regional theatre run are being planned for 2022 before heading to Broadway in 2023. In addition to the original, new music, the score will include many of the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa, and Vinicius de Moraes themes from the motion picture.

Originally based on the play Orfeu de Conceição by the great Moraes, Black Orpheus resets the classic Greek love story of Eurydice and Orfeu against the backdrop of a Rio de Janeiro favela during Carnival. Equal parts celebratory, erotic, haunting and tragic, Black Orpheus became an instant classic of popular culture, winning the Cannes Palme d'Or and the 1959 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and introduced the world to Bossa Nova.

In a statement, producers Byrd and Jones-Harvey said, “It is our privilege to ready Black Orpheus for the Broadway stage alongside this incredible creative team. America has never been the same since the new wave of Brazilian music came north and washed over us, and we are especially honored to be collaborating with Sergio Mendes who is one of the main architects of Brazilian pop, and whose musical genius will fit right at home on Broadway – at long last, and especially at a time when we will be welcoming the world back to New York City, with open arms.”

Additional details and announcements about Black Orpheus on Broadway are forthcoming.


# # # #

BIOGRAPHIES
NILO CRUZ (Book), a Cuban-American, gained national prominence in 2003 when he won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for his play Anna in the Tropics, a Depression-era tale about migrant Cubans working in a Tampa, Fla., cigar factory, for which he also received a Steinberg Award and Tony Award nomination. He has become known for his ability to successfully weave strains of magic realism and other literary traditions into his works. His plays include A Park in Our House; Two Sisters and a Piano; A Bicycle Country; Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams; Lorca in a Green Dress; Hurricane; Sotto Voce; Bathing in Moonlight; Hotel Desiderium and The Color of Desire. His work has been seen at numerous theaters around the country and around the world in Canada, England, France, Australia, Germany, Belarus, Russia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan and Spain. As a lyricist, he is a frequent collaborator with composer Gabriela Lena Frank. He has written the libretti for The Conquest requiem and the Santos oratorio for Ms. Frank and the text of orchestral songs, La Centinela y la paloma. Cruz also adapted Ann Patchett’s 2001 novel Bel Canto for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, with Peruvian composer Jimmy López and recently premiered the Dreamers oratorio by López at Cal Performance in Berkeley, Calif. His musical endeavors inspired his play Exquisite Agony, about a grieving opera singer, who had performed in countless operas, but now engages in a transgressive endeavor to find fragments of her late husband, who was a composer killed in a car accident. In the world of film, he co-wrote the screenplay Castro’s Daughter with Oscar winner Bobby Moresco and adapted his play Anna in the Tropics for Mankind Entertainment.
Cruz, who received an M.F.A. from Brown University and an honorary doctorate degree from Whittier College, has thrice previously served as a playwright-in-residence: In 2000, for the McCarter Theatre, in Princeton, N.J., in 2001 for the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Fla., which commissioned Anna in the Tropics, and 2021 at UCLA through a Hearst Foundation Grant. Cruz has also taught drama at Yale, Brown, the University of Iowa and the University of Miami. He is a member of the New Dramatists.

SERGIO MENDES (Music) One common thread weaves throughout the staggeringly diverse tapestry of music that Sergio Mendes has created over his remarkable six-decade career: the spirit of joy. From his pioneering contributions to the foundations of bossa nova alongside the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, through the era-defining Latin-pop sound of his iconic group Brasil ’66; his scintillating collaborations with jazz legends like Cannonball Addereley and Herbie Mann to his chart-topping adult contemporary smash “Never Gonna Let You Go;” on through his 21st-century reinvention with the Black-Eyed Peas and John Legend or his Oscar®-nominated theme song from the animated hit Rio: an infectious spirit of joy pervades everything Mendes has ushered into the ears of listeners.The Brazilian legend’s 2020 album is no exception. On In the Key of Joy, Mendes looks back the only way he knows how – by once again moving forward. Released to coincide with a spectacular new documentary on his life by acclaimed filmmaker John Scheinfeld (Chasing Trane, Who Is Harry Nilsson ), the album In the Key of Joy melds the classic Brazilian, jazz and pop sounds that have long characterized Mendes’ music with stunningly contemporary inspirations that make the album sound at once utterly timeless and wholly of the moment. The documentary, Sergio Mendes: In The Key of Joy is enjoying worldwide release in 2021, after its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2020.

SERGIO TRUJILLO (Director and Choreography) is the recipient of a Tony Award for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations and an Olivier award for Memphis the Musical. Broadway: Ain’ t Too Proud (Tony/NAACP Award, Outer Critics Circle/Chita Rivera nominations), On Your Feet! (Tony Award nominee, Outer Critics Circle/Astaire Awards), Memphis the Musical (Olivier/OCC Award, Drama Desk/Astaire Award nominations), Jersey Boys (Olivier/ Drama Desk/OCC/Greenroom/Dora nominations), Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (Chita Rivera/NAACP Award), A Bronx Tale (Chita Rivera Award nomination), The Addams Family, Next to Normal, Hands on a Hardbody (Drama Desk nomination), Leap of Faith (Drama Desk nomination), Guys and Dolls (Astaire Awards nomination) and All Shook Up. Director/choreographer: Cirque De Soleil’s Paramour (Stage Entertainment), Arrabal (A.R.T.-Elliot Norton Award), Gloria Estefan on Broadway (Minskoff Theatre), Flashdance: The Musical (national tour). International credits: Disney’s Tarzan (Stage Entertainment), Peggy Sue Got Married (West End), West Side Story (Stratford Festival). TV credits: “Annie Live” for NBC, Kennedy Center Honors, 2021 Tony Awards, “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” (Emmy nominee).
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