A new musical stage adaptation of the 1959 film Black Orpheus, featuring a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics) and music by Grammy winner Sergio Mendes, is aiming for a Broadway debut during the 2022-2023 season.
Tony winner Sergio Trujillo (Ain't Too Proud) will direct the new musical, which will have a developmental workshop and an out-of-town regional theatre engagement this year prior to the Broadway bow in 2023.
In addition to new music by Brazilian icon Mendes, the score will include many of the Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa, and Vinicius de Moraes themes from the motion picture.
Originally based on Moraes’ play Orfeu de Conceição, Black Orpheus resets the classic Greek love story of Eurydice and Orfeu against the backdrop of a Rio de Janeiro favela during Carnival. Black Orpheus won the Cannes Palme d'Or and the 1959 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey state, “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.”
Casting and additional details will be announced at a later time.
If the 2023 Broadway plans proceed as expected, Black Orpheus could become one of two musical retellings of the Greek myth running simultaneously on the Main Stem, along with Hadestown's New Orleans-themed take on the tale.