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October 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

At the age of 84, Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy and the words and music for Into the Woods, Follies and Sweeney Todd, is working on a new musical with playwright David Ives (Venus in Fur) that he does not expect to be completed for "a few years," the New York Times reported on Saturday. The musical, which Sondheim confirmed at an appearance at the New Yorker Festival on Friday night, would essentially intertwine two classic films by Spanish director Luis Buñuel, The Exterminating Angel (1967) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972). New York’s Public Theater and producer Scott Rudin are backing the project, and have agreed to present it "whenever Steve tells us to," said the Public’s artistic director, Oskar Eustis. Sondheim, who said that he and Ives had finished a first draft, indicated that he had long been considering a musical synthesizing the surrealistic Buñuel films inasmuch as one, Discreet Charm, involves a group trying to find a place to dine together and Angel a group who finally dine but are trapped afterwards in "hellish circumstances," the Times reported. Eustis, who presumably has seen the first draft, told the newspaper that the composer and playwright have seen ways "to weave the two films together that are really thrilling conceptual insights."