Producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey 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.