Sunday's Disappearing June 29 at Broadway's Studio 54
By Kenneth Jones
Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway production of the Menier Chocolate Factory's Sunday in the Park With George ends its extended, limited engagement June 29 at Studio 54.
By close, it will have played 32 previews and 149 regular performances.
The new Olivier Award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is directed by Sam Buntrock with musical staging by Christopher Gattelli. The production originated at the tiny Menier venue in London and then moved to London's West End. The Broadway run was extended three times.
Sunday in the Park with George began previews on Jan. 25 and opened officially on Feb. 21. PS Classics preserved the London cast on a new recording of the score.
This Sunday was nominated for nine 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Leading Actor and Best Leading Actress in a Musical for London principals Daniel Evans (as George) and Jenna Russell (as Dot and Marie). An American cast filled in the rest of the Roundabout's canvas (with Act One characters speaking in U.K. accents). London director Buntrock and all of his designers were also Tony-nominated.
Fans of the show who know the original 1984 Broadway production (or regional revivals) gasped during the new run when they witnessed the technological wizardry of this production, which glows with projections and animation to tell the fictionalized tale of Georges Seurat's passion for his 19th-century masterwork painting (in Act One), and the story of his spiritual heir 100 years later (in Act Two).
The cast includes Michael Cumpsty (Jules & Bob), Alexander Gemignani (Boatman & Dennis) and Jessica Molaskey (Yvonne & Naomi) with Mary Beth Peil (Old Lady & Blair).
Andrew Varela stepped into the role of Jules for the final week of the run.
The cast also includes Ed Dixon (Mr. & Charles), Santino Fontana (Soldier & Alex), Kelsey Fowler (Louise), Jessica Grové (Celeste #2 & Silent Artist), Alison Horowitz (Louise), Stacie Morgain Lewis (Frieda & Betty), Drew McVety (Louis & Billy), Anne L. Nathan (Nurse, Mrs. & Harriet), Brynn O'Malley (Celeste #1), David Turner (Franz & Lee).
According to Roundabout, "The Georges Seurat painting, 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,' is the inspiration for this compelling musical fantasy which celebrates the art of creation and the creation of art. The first half of Sunday in the Park with George, set in 1884, sees the painting and its rich comic tapestry come to life in a world where, for Georges, art comes before love, before everything. In the second half, set in 1980s New York, we see the great grandson of Georges and his search for inspiration amongst the unfolding world of contemporary art."
The design team includes Caroline Humphris (musical director), David Farley (set and costume design), Ken Billington (lighting design), Sebastian Frost (sound design), Tim Bird (projection design) and Jason Carr (orchestrations).
Tim Bird and David Farley won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Set Design, and Ken Billington won an OCC Award for Outstanding Lighting Design. Jason Carr received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations, and Tim Bird received a Drama Desk for Outstanding Projections and Video Design.
For more information visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.
Next up at Studio 54, this fall, will be the Roundabout revival of Rodgers & Hart's Pal Joey starring Christian Hoff, Martha Plimpton and Stockard Channing. The John O'Hara script has been adapted and revised by Richard Greenberg.
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