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'Black Orpheus' Eyeing Broadway Premiere with Lynn Nottage, George C. Wolfe Aboard

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Jul 07, 2014 04:17 PM EDT

A stage adaptation of the classic Oscar-winning 1959 film Black Orpheus hasn't made it to Broadway's 2013-14 season as originally announced, but today's news bodes well for the musical: Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage will supply a book and Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe will direct.

Shot in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus, Black Orpheus won the Cannes Palme d'Or and the 1959 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. With songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfá and Vinicius de Moraes, the writer whose play inspired it, the film boosted Bossa Nova music to worldwide popularity. The adaptation will feature many of the movie's musical themes.

Moraes's play Orfeu de Conceição which inspired the film was in turn based on the Greek myth of Eurydice and Orfeu. Setting the story during Carnival in a Rio de Janeiro favela proved an inspired creative decision, resulting in a film that has become almost as legendary in modern times as the original Greek love story has been for the ages.

Prior to winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009 for Ruined, Lynn Nottage received both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Grant. She is the author of numerous other works for the stage including Intimate Apparel; the Obie-winning Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine; and By The Way, Meet Vera Stark.

George C. Wolfe, former Artistic Director of The Public Theatre and also a filmmaker, has won two Tony Awards for an extensive body of work for the theater including Angels in America, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, The Wild Party and Topdog/Underdog.

No casting or dates have been announced for Black Orpheus.

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TagsBlack Orpheus, Orpheus and Eurydice, George C. Wolfe, Lynn Nottage, Greek mythology, Musical, broadway, Broadway Musical, musical theater, bossa nova, Jobim