Signature Will Launch 25th Anniversary Season with Staging of Sunday in the Park with George
By Andrew Gans
Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, will kick off its 25th anniversary season next fall with an all-new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George.
Directed by associate artistic director Matthew Gardiner, the award-winning work will play the MAX Theatre Aug. 5-Sept. 21, 2014. The production will mark the first time Signature has produced the musical since the theatre’s co-production with Arena Stage in 1997.
“Sunday in the Park with George is the perfect start to our 25th anniversary season,” stated artistic director Eric Schaeffer. “In a season that will celebrate the many great artists we have collaborated with over the years, Stephen Sondheim tops the list, with Signature having done 23 productions of his work. It will be wonderful to bring La Grande Jatte into the intimate 276 seat MAX Theatre. It’s the first of many special productions to celebrate our 25 years of groundbreaking work.”
Casting and additional creative team members will be announced at a later time.
Inspired by the life of French painter Georges Seurat, Sunday in the Park with George, according to previous press notes state, "follows the painter's creation of his masterpiece in a story that examines what an artist has left to give when he's given everything to his art. In the musical's first half, we see Seurat's epic vision, a huge canvas comprised not of brushstrokes but of colored dots of paint, come together piece by piece, while in the second half, his modern descendant (also named George) learns that 'art isn't easy' in a cultural scene that values cocktail chatter more than artistic intent."
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George originally opened at Broadway's Booth Theatre on May 2, 1984, where it ran for 540 performances. Starring Mandy Patinkin as George and Bernadette Peters as Dot, the premiere Broadway company also included Barbara Bryne as the Old Lady, Brent Spiner as Franz, Charles Kimbrough as Jules and Dana Ivey as Yvonne. Sondheim's score — which was nominated for a Tony Award — features such titles as "Finishing the Hat," "Putting It Together," "Children and Art," "Move On" and "Beautiful." Sunday in the Park received ten Tony Award nominations, winning two — Scenic Designer (Tony Straiges) and Lighting Designer (Richard Nelson). It was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
The Olivier Award-winning production of Sunday, which was directed by Sam Buntrock with musical staging by Christopher Gattelli, originated at the tiny Menier venue in London and then moved to London's West End. The Broadway run was extended three times and played its final performance at Studio 54 June 29, 2008.
For more information visit www.signature-theatre.org.
Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theatre company in Arlington, Virginia dedicated to "producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work."
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