Sondheim’s ‘Bounce’ falls flat
Stephen Sondheim’s first new musical in nine years, “Bounce,” has opened to mostly negative reviews at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington. The show, the first collaboration between Sondheim and director Harold Prince in more than two decades, depicts the relationship between notorious brothers Addison and Wilson Mizner.
USA Today critic Elysa Gardner said that, even after a run at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in June, the production “still feels less than fully formed.” Peter Marks of the Washington Post went further, calling the first act “drudgery.” And Variety’s Charles Isherwood wrote that the play “remains strangely and stubbornly lifeless, practically from start to finish.”
“The bounce in ‘Bounce’ is never very high,” Ben Brantley wrote in his New York Times review. “It’s more like a close-to-the-floor dribble by a basketball player stalling for time.”