Stephen C. Byrd Developing Broadway-Aimed Stage Musical of "Black Orpheus"
By Adam Hetrick
Producer Stephen Byrd, who presented the all-black 2008 revival of Cat On a Hot Tin Roof and a multi-ethnic production of A Streetcar Named Desire this season, is developing a musical adaptation of the Academy Award-winning French film "Black Orpheus," according to the New York Times.
The 1959 film, a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, is reset in Rio de Janiero during Carnival. Marcel Camus directed the original film, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Byrd told the Times that he is aiming for a 2013-14 Broadway arrival of Black Orpheus, which will include songs from the original film by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá. Brazilian Claudio Botelho and Charles Moeller, who have collaborated on the Brazlian productions of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Company and Les Miserables, are working to finish a script for the musical by the end of this year.
"I'm hoping to cast at least the principal roles with well-known Brazilian singers and actors, because I think this show will succeed as long as it's as authentically Brazilian as possible," Byrd said.
Bill T. Jones, Julie Taymor and Rob Ashford are among the directors on Byrd's wish list, although no names are attached to the project at this time. Byrd is developing the project with the Brazilian company Geo Eventos and Base Entertainment.
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