The musical will run for three months and will be produced by David Babani (who previously produced Sondheim’s Assassins). It will play Tuesdays to Saturdays from Nov. 14 through Feb. 18, 2006. Evans is no stranger to Sondheim. Having netted an Olivier Award nomination for Leonard Bernstein’s Candide at the National Theatre, he won the Best Actor in a Musical prize itself when he starred in Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along at the Donmar Warehouse. More recently, he appeared in yet another U.S. musical, Grand Hotel, also at the Donmar.
Sunday in the Park With George is loosely based on the life of the artist Georges Seurat, and particularly his painting of “A Sunday Afternoon On The Island of La Grande Jatte.” The original cast at New York’s Booth Theatre in 1984 featured Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters (it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama). Five years later it debuted at London’s National Theatre, winning Olivier Awards for Best Musical and Best Actor (for Philip Quast).
Not that many songs in the show have become standards on the cabaret circuit. The most frequently performed are “Finishing The Hat,” where Seurat ignores his mistress to, well, finish painting a hat, and “Putting It Together,” which later loaned its name to a Sondheim review show in New York. Other numbers in the show include “Sunday in the Park With George,” “Color and Light,” “It’s Hot Up Here” and “Children And Art.”