Legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim is at work on a new musical, the New York Times reports. The eight-time Tony Award winner confirmed the project, a collaboration with Tony-nominated Venus in Fur playwright David Ives, during a recent appearance at the New Yorker Festival.
The as-yet-unnamed musical, which is still in its early drafts, is based on the 1962 film The Exterminating Angel and the 1972 film The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, two surrealist classics about people dining by late Spanish director Luis Bunuel.
"I mentioned this idea I had, and David knew the movies and was enthusiastic," Sondheim said. "We looked at the films again and started working."
The Public Theater and producer Scott Rudin are already attached to the project. "We will do it whenever Steve tells us to," said Oskar Eustis, the Public's artistic director. "The movies are two of Bunuel's most brilliant films, and what I adore about them -- and what I think Steve and David responded to -- are that they are masterpieces of surrealism and masterpieces of political commentary."
Road Show, Sondheim's most recent new musical, was staged by the Public in 2008. The 84-year-old gay composer, who was the subject of last year's HBO documentary Six by Sondheim, had a two-volume collection of his lyrics and theatrical anecdotes published in 2010 and 2011.
Theatre Communications Group recently announced that Sondheim is the most-produced composer in the U.S. for the 2014-15 season with 20 productions, including Into the Woods, which is enjoying a resurgence in popularity because of the upcoming Disney film adaptation. His other musicals include Assassins, Company, and A Little Night Music.