The upcoming Broadway-aimed stage musical adaptation of the 1959 film Black Orpheus has revealed its composer and lyricist: Latin Grammy winner Carlinhos Brown and Grammy winner Siedah Garrett, respectively. The two join a creative team led by director-choreographer Sergio Trujillo and book writer Nilo Cruz.
Recently announced as aiming for a Broadway debut during the 2022-2023 season, the musical has now shifted that timeline to the 2023-2024 season, with a developmental workshop and pre-Broadway tryout expected to happen before the Main Stem premiere. The production is being produced by Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey.
Brown's original music will be supplanted by themes used in the film, composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa, and Vinicius de Moraes.
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.
Casting and additional details will be announced at a later time.
If the upcoming 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.
Album producer, singer, and percussionist Brown is a two-time Latin Grammy winner, winning Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album in 2003 for Tribalistas and again in 2004 for Carlinhos Brown Es Carlito Marrón. He released his most recent album, SIM.ZÁS, earlier this year.
Garrett is perhaps best known for co-writing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," with additional credits that include Dreamgirls' "Love You I Do" and Rio's "Real in Rio." Garrett will also contribute new material to the upcoming The Color Purple movie musical, joining the stage songwriting team of Stephen Bray and Brenda Russell in place of the late Allee Willis.