Last October, the New York City Center hosted Annaleigh Ashford and Jake Gyllenhaal for a concert performance of Sunday in the Park with George. The production, which received rave reviews from the New York Times, will be transferring to Broadway at the Hudson Theatre from February 23rd until April 23rd.
The original production of Sunday in the Park…, written by Stephen Sondheim, premiered in 1984. It starred Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters and received Tony Awards for best Lighting and Scenic Design. Since it was up against La Cage Aux Folles that year, it was a bit overshadowed.
The story, based on a painting by George Seurat, takes place on the island of La Grande Jatte on the River Seine just outside the gates of Paris. In 1884, George Seurat is busy painting the people around him. Through his painting he learns about the people around him. When he goes home, he meets his mistress and model, Dot (Peters’ character). George’s pre-occupation with work has gotten in the way of his romance with Dot and in finding herself pregnant and unhappy, she accepts the marriage proposal of another man.
It takes a lot to be compared to theatre greats like Patinkin and Peters. According the reviews of his staged reading performance last year, that concert was a very cathartic experience. This new production, which will employ full stage designs and costumes unlike the reading, should be even more successful in catharsis: