Sondheim Offered Sage Advice to Sunday Tony Nominee Daniel Evans

News   Sondheim Offered Sage Advice to Sunday Tony Nominee Daniel Evans
It was following the final preview performance of the Roundabout Theatre Company's Tony-nominated revival of Sunday in the Park With George at Studio 54 when Sunday composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim appeared in Daniel Evans' dressing room.

Daniel Evans
Daniel Evans Photo by Ernio Hernandez

Evans — who is currently nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance as both the pointillist painter and the modern-day artist George in Sunday — told that Sondheim offered this bit of advice: "Drink it in because it really doesn't get much better than this."

"He's right," Evans said, adding that there was one other comment from Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Sondheim that was especially appreciated. Following a run-through during New York rehearsals, the composer of Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods told Evans, "You're being very careful with what I've written, and sometimes I just want you to be less careful."

Evans, who won an Olivier Award for his performance in the West End staging of Sunday, said Sondheim and book writer (and original Sunday director) James Lapine have been involved in both the London and New York mountings of the acclaimed musical. "They worked with us in London, and they worked with us here as well," Evans said. "Their notes were invaluable, often strict, but always generous. Having their support is just second to none, really."

Evans said that the entire Sunday experience has been "overwhelming . . . [We] started in a 150-seat theatre, a fringe venue in London, [the Menier Chocolate Factory]. It's crossed the Atlantic, and now we're playing a 1,000-seat theatre at Studio 54." About his own journey with the role, Evans commented, "I hope that it's gotten deeper, and I hope that there's more detail now, and I hope that my singing has improved. It takes awhile for things to get into your voice. I think as I go on, I find myself understanding George Seurat — Act One George — more and more."

Daniel Evans also received an Olivier Award for his work in the 2001 London revival of Merrily We Roll Along. He has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall and the Old Vic, among others. His screen credits include "The Passion," "Doctor Who," "The Virgin Queen," "Love in a Cold Climate," "Great Expectations," "Daniel Deronda" and "To the Ends of the Earth."  

Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell   Jenna Russell and Daniel Evans
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