Julian Ovenden Stars in Paris Premiere of Sunday in the Park With George, Featuring 46-Piece Orchestra, Beginning April 15
By Adam Hetrick
Julian Ovenden, who appeared in the world premiere of the new musical Finding Neverland last fall, stars in the Théâtre du Châtelet production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park With George, beginning April 15 in Paris.
Lee Blakeley helms the Paris premiere of the musical about the life of painter George Seurat, which runs through April 25. It marks the director's third Sondheim musical at Théâtre du Châtelet, following A Little Night Music (2010) and Sweeney Todd (2011).
The musical, which brings to life the creation of Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte during its first act, is set in both Paris and New York. The production is presented in English with French subtitles.
David Charles Abell, who conducted the French premieres of Sweeney Todd (Théâtre du Châtelet) and Follies (Opéra de Toulon), is the musical director. This production features new orchestrations for a 46-piece orchestra by original Broadway orchestrator Michael Starobin.
Ovenden portray Seurat. He also appeared in the Off-Broadway staging of Death Takes a Holiday. In September he originated the role of J.M. Barrie in the West End-aimed musical Finding Neverland by Scott Frankel, Michael Korie and Allan Knee.
The cast also features Sophie-Louise Dann (Lend Me a Tenor, Jolson) as Dot/Marie, Rebecca de Pont Davies as Old Lady/Elaine, David Curry as Solider/Redmond, Beverly Klein as Yvonne/Blair, Rebecca Bottone as Celeste 1/Betty, Francesca Jackson as Celeste 2/Billy, Nicholas Garrett as Boatman/Dennis, Damian Thantrey as Franz/Randolph, Jessica Walker as Nurse/Harriet, Jonathan Gunthorpe as Louis/Alex and Christine Buffle as Frieda/Noemie.
The creative team also includes scenic designer William Dudley and costume designer Adrian Linford. David Charles Abell will musical direct with choreography by Lorena Randi.
Sunday in the Park with George originally opened at Broadway's Booth Theatre on May 2, 1984, where it ran for 540 performances. Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters starred.
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