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Here We Are (2023)

Words & Music: Stephen Sondheim

Book: David Ives, inspired by the films of Luis Buñuel.

Premise: American billionaire Leo Brink and his socialite wife Marianne attempt to dine with their friends – Paul Zimmer and his wife Claudia Bursik-Zimmer, Marianne's sister Fritz, and the ambassador of the (fictional) country of Miranda, Raffael Santelli Di Santicci – only to be frustratingly interrupted every step of the way by a series of surreal events involving housekeepers, waiters, bishops and soldiers.

Background: The musical is inspired by the Luis Buñuel movies The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) and The Exterminating Angel (1962). The show had its first reading at the bar of the Public Theater in January 2016, and another was organized by Oskar Eustis at the Public in August 2016 (under the working title Buñuel) with a cast including Sierra Boggess, Shuler Hensley, Marc Kudisch, Norm Lewis and Nancy Opel; Joe Mantello was asked to attend also. Three months later, in November 2016, it was workshopped with Heidi Blickenstaff, Sierra Boggess, Michael Cerveris, Gabriel Ebert, Shuler Hensley, Matthew Morrison, Jennifer Simard and Sarah Stiles. A "mini workshop" of the first act was conducted (with songs) at the Public Theater in April 2017 with Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale, and a further "cold reading" took place – with Bernadette Peters and Nathan Lane – on 8 September 2021. On 15 September, Sondheim appeared on on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and announced that the musical was to be titled Square One. In March 2023, it was announced that the show – now titled Here We Are – would open in the the Fall of that year, and previews began at the Griffin Theatre at The Shed on 28 September 2023.

Major productions/concert performances/recordings:

2023 Griffin Theater at The Shed, Off-Broadway

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Anchor 1

Griffin Theatre at The Shed (2023)

545 West 30th Street, New York

Previews: 28 September 2023

Opens: 22 October 2023

Closes: 7 January 2024

Performances: 129

Director: Joe Mantello

Choreography: Sam Pinkleton

Orchestrations: Jonathan Tunick

Music Supervision/Additional Arrangements: Alexander Gemignani

Producer: Tom Kirdahy, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, The Stephen Sondheim Trust

Associate Producer: Oscar Arce

Scenic & Costume Design: David Zinn

Lighting Design: Natasha Katz

Sound Design: Tom Gibbons

Hair & Make-Up Design: Robert Pickens, Katie Gell

Cast:

Colonel Martin: Francois Battiste
Woman: Tracie Bennett
Leo Brink: Bobby Cannavale
Fritz: Micaela Diamond
Claudia Bursik-Zimmer: Amber Gray
Soldier: Jin Ha
Marianna BrinkRachel Bay Jones
Man: Dennis O'Hare
Raffael Santello Di Santucci: Steven Pasquale
Bishop: David Hyde Pierce
Paul Zimmer: Jeremy Shamos

Understudies: Adante Carter, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Bradley Dean, Mehry Eslaminia, Adam Harrington, Bligh Voth

Musical Numbers:

During Previews, song names were not listed in the programme, so the below were guesses by "StylishCynic" on BroadwayWorld; for the official track listing, see album selections beneath

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Act One
"A Perfect Day" Ensemble
"Toast I" Ensemble
"I Am So Sorry" Man
"Road Sequence I" Ensemble
"It Is What It Is" Woman
"Road Sequence II" Ensemble
"Toast II" Ensemble
"The Dream" or "The End of The World" Soldier and Fritz
"Road Sequence III" Ensemble
"All I Want is a Job" or "I’m a Terrible Priest" Bishop
"A Perfect Day (Reprise)" Ensemble

Act Two
"Eden" or "Here We Are or "In This Room" Ensemble
"The End of the World (Reprise)" Soldier and Fritz
"Poof" or "Remember This" Marianne
“Take Your Places” (Finale)" Ensemble

Recording:

Here We Are (Original Cast Recording)

  • Concord Music Group, 2023, 4-panel digipak CD + 44 page booklet, CT00155 [UPC: 888072599796]

  • Concord Music Group, 2023, 2-LP Vinyl, CT00155 [UPC: 888072616929]

Producers:  Sean Patrick Flahaven, Bill Rosenfield
Recorder/Mixer: Ian Kagey
Mastering: Oscar Zambrano
Recorded at: Power Station at BerkleeNYC, 441 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019; 8 January 2024

Conductor: Alexander Gemignani

Piano/Keyboard: Meghann Zervoulis Bate

Piccolo/Flute/Clarinet: Jim Ercole

Oboe/English Horn: Keve Wilson

Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Alto Sax: Lino Gomez

Bassoon: Patricia Wang

Trumpet: Hugo Moreno

Horn: Priscilla Rinehart

Drums/Percussion: Matt Smallcomb

Violin: Cenovia Cummins

Violin: Rachel Handman

Viola: Orlando Wells

Cello: Sarah Hewitt-Roth

Bass: Matt Aronoff

Orchestrations: Jonathan Tunick
Selections
“Here We Are (Overture)”, “The Road 1 (Part 1)”, “The Road 1 (Part 2)”, “The Road 1 (Part 3)”, “Café Everything (Toast 1)”, “Waiter’s Song”, “The Road 2”, “Bistro à la Mode (Toast 2)”, “It Is What It Is”, “10. The Road 3”, “Osteria Zeno (Toast 3)”, “The Soldier’s Dream”, “The Road 4 (Part 1)”, “The Road 4 (Part 2)”, “Oh, Look, Here’s The Embassy!”, “Bishop’s Song”, “End of Act One”, “Entr’acte”, “Digestion”, “Shine”, “Hesitation”, “Double Duet”, “Interlude 1: Marianne And The Bear”, “Interlude 2: Wandering”, “Interlude 3: Snow”, “Hesitation (Reprise)”, “Exit Music”

Here We Are playbill
Cast of Here We Are by Stephen Sondheim and David Ives
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