In 2003, Bounce marked Sondheim’s return to the stage after nearly a decade’s absence and reunited him with director Hal Prince. This original cast recording, from Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, tells the real-life story of the audacious, disaster-defying Mizner Brothers.
Nonesuch Records released the original cast recording of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Bounce—from the 2003 Goodman Theatre production—in May 2004. Sondheim’s first new musical in ten years, the production also featured a reunion between the composer/lyricist and director Harold Prince—their first time working together in more than twenty years. The score is conducted by David Caddick and orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick. Recorded in Washington, DC during the show’s fall 2003 Kennedy Center engagement, Bounce features Gavin Creel, Richard Kind, Herndon Lackey, Howard McGillin, Michele Pawk, and Jane Powell in the lead roles and was produced by Tommy Krasker and Robert Hurwitz.
Bounce, which originated at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2003 before moving to the Kennedy Center, is the story of two real-life American brothers—Addison and Wilson Mizner—and their dubious attempts at fame and fortune around the turn of the 20th century. Sondheim first learned of the brothers, who managed to “bounce” back from nearly every obstacle, via a 1950s New Yorker magazine article about a book called The Legendary Mizners. Intrigued,the young composer inquired about the rights to the story, only to learn producer David Merrick already had purchased them for a musical to be written by Irving Berlin and the playwright S.N. Behrman. More than three decades later, long after Berlin and Behrman had abandoned the project, Sondheim revisited the idea with playwright John Weidman—his collaborator from Pacific Overtures (1976) and Assassins (1991).
Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1997), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with Georgee (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971 revised in London, 1987), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962) , as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear A Waltz (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide ( 1973). Side by Side By Sondheim (1976), Marry Me A Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), and Putting It Together (1992) are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist. Sondheim’s previous Nonesuch recordings include Into the Woods (2002), The Frogs/Evening Primrose (2001), and Saturday Night (2000).
John Weidman (book) also wrote the book for Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures and Assassins. He co-authored, with Timothy Crouse, the new book for Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes. Additionally, he wrote the book for Big and co-created Contactt with Susan Stroman. Weidman’s next project is a revival of Assassins, to be directed by Joe Mantello on Broadway this spring.
Bounce was originally produced and premiered by The Goodman Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, June 2003, and opened at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., on October 21, 2003
Recording produced by Tommy Krasker and Robert Hurwitz
Sessions produced by Robert Hurwitz and Jonathan Tunick
Engineered by Tom Lazarus
Recorded November 10, 2003, at NPR Studios, Washington, D.C.
Assistant Engineers: Chris Nelson, Drew Reynolds, Michael Schweppe, Josh Rogosin
Additional Recording at The Enchanted Cottage, Los Angeles
Engineered by Thomas Griep
Edited by Bart Migal and mixed by Tom Lazarus at Classic Sound
Mastered by Joe Lambert
Music Preparation: Katharine Edmonds/Emily Grishman, Emily Grishman Music Preparation
All music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Design by Evan Gaffney Design
Cover art by Serino Coyne, originally commissioned by The John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts
Howard McGillin, vocals (2-8, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21)
Richard Kind, vocals (2-4, 7-9, 13, 14, 16-18, 20-22)
Herndon Lackey, vocals (3, 12)
Jane Powell, vocals (3, 4, 8)
Michele Pawk, vocals (6, 10, 11, 14, 17-19)
Gavin Creel, vocals (15-18)
Ensemble: Sean Blacke, Marilynn Bogetich, Tom Daugherty, Jeff Dumas, Deanna Dunagan, Nicole Grothues, Rick Hilsabeck, Jeff Parker, Harriet Nzinga Plumpp, Jenny Powers, Craig Ramsay, Jacquelyn Ritz, Fred Zimmerman
The Kennedy Center Musical Theater Orchestra:
Kay Cameron, music director, musical theater and TV
Robert Pullen, orchestra contractor
David Caddick, conductor
Kristen Blodgette, associate conductor, keyboards
Violin: Douglas Dubé (concertmaster), Zino Bogachek, Richard L. Chang, Xi Chen, Jessica Dan Fan, Patty Hurd, Joan Hurley, Martha B. Kaufman, Karen Lowry-Tucker, Timothy Macek, Susan Midkiff, Victoria Noyes, Jennifer Rickard, Dolores Robbins
Viola: Leon D. Neal (principal), David Basch, Philippe C. Chao, Evelyn Harpham, Leon D. Neal, Elizabeth Pulju-Owen, David A. Quick, Uri Wassertzug
Cello: Robert Newkirk (principal), Timothy H. Butler
Bass: Jeff Cooper
Woodwinds: Walt Borys, Keith Daudelin, Lee Lachman
Horn: Emil George, Kenneth Bell
Trumpet: Fred Irby III (principal), Chris Gekker, Tim White
Trombone: Stan Wilkerson
Drums/Percussion: Joseph Connell, Bill Richards