Book by James Lapine
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Sarna Lapine
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford, Brooks Ashmanskas, Jenni Barber, Phillip Boykin, Mattea Conforti, Erin Davie, Claybourne Elder, Penny Fuller, Jordan Gelber, Robert Sean Leonard, Liz McCartney, Ruthie Ann Miles, Ashley Park, Jennifer Sanchez, David Turner, Max Chernin, MaryAnn Hu, Michael McElroy, Jaime Rosenstein, Laura Irion, Julie Foldesi, Andrew Kober
Scenic Design: Beowulf Boritt
Projection Design: Tal Yarden
Costume Design: Clint Ramos
Lighting Design: Ken Billington
Sound Design: Kai Harada
Orchestrations: Michael Starobin
Production Supervision: Peter Lawrence
Musical staging: Ann Yee
Music direction: Chris Fenwick
First Performance February 11, 2017
Opening February 23, 2017
Final Performance April 23, 2017
Submit a review for Sunday in the Park with George
Sondheim and Lapine’s masterpiece follows painter Georges Seurat (Jake Gyllenhaal) in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Consumed by his need to “finish the hat,” Seurat alienates the French bourgeoisie, spurns his fellow artists, and neglects his lover Dot (Annaleigh Ashford), not realizing that his actions will reverberate over the next 100 years.
Ben Brantley – New York Times
“Can’t you see the shimmering?” Seurat asks of his painting. There is no canvas on the stage. But of course you see the shimmering. It’s right there in his eyes.
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
A concert staging at City Center last fall of Stephen Sondheim’s 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Sunday in the Park With George” went swimmingly, with Jake Gyllenhaal in the titular role of Georges Seurat, raising hopes for an extended engagement. The theater gods heard, and the re-mounted show is back for a commercial run in one of Broadway’s historic jewels, the newly restored Hudson Theater. Under the direction of Sarna Lapine, the staging is more theatrically structured than it was at City Center, with its stools and lecterns. But even as retooled, the show retains the quality of serene simplicity that heightens the poignant beauty of the score. Gyllenhaal returns in the leading role, his acting chops intact, but his voice refreshed and enhanced by what must have been professional coaching.
Jesse Green – Vulture
Sunday in the Park With George, which opens tonight in a bare-bones but beautiful-enough Broadway revival starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, is both a deconstruction and an example of that duality. A deconstruction because Lapine’s book, among the brainiest ever written for a musical, works innumerable trenchant variations on the theme of sacrifice for art. The show is also a demonstration of that theme, because Sondheim’s songs are so profound that they feel, even while unspooling in unbroken threads of human longing, as if they had left the realm of lived experience and entered a Keatsian plane of absolute truth-beauty far above our own. The lyrics constantly delight the ear while also dramatizing, in that very delight, the way art both exalts and erases. “Rapturous” and “capture us” are like the jaws of a trap snapping shut.
Jeremy Gerard – Deadline
Broadway’s roster of houses, where stars are born or confirmed, and where theater folks come in hopes of finding Tony glory, expanded by one Thursday night with the re-opening of the Hudson Theatre, recently taken over by the Ambassador Theatre Group, updated and restored to autumnal golden glory. To mark the occasion, ATG imported a celebrated concert revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer prize-winning musical Sunday In The Park With George, a revelatory production starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the Pointillist artist Georges Seurat and Annaleigh Ashford as his muse and lover, Dot.
Chris Jones – Chicago Tribune
Gyllenhaal is at once distinctive, self-effacing and the boldest choice made in this uneven if intriguing production, albeit by virtue of its relative neutrality (it’s Gyllenhaal, so we’re talking smoldering neutrality). The actor can certainly carry the musical demands of the show, but not with bravura flourish, for he does not have that kind of voice. Ashford’s wholly empathetic Dot also is a more contained piece of work than most incarnations of George’s tempting antithesis.
David Rooney – The Hollywood Reporter
The creation of harmony out of disharmony and coherence out of chaos are among the themes of Sunday in the Park With George. However, in fortifying for Broadway what was already a probing interpretation of this complex 1984 musical diptych by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, first seen in a New York City Center concert staging last fall, the production has elevated an affecting work into something quite rare and exquisite. Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford bring richer shadings and startling emotional candor to their dual roles, supported by a gifted ensemble that embodies the notion of great art being born out of multiple influences nourishing a unique vision.
Allison Adato – Entertainment Weekly
This production is smartly directed by Sarna Lapine, with an economical staging based on her 2016 concert version. (She is a niece of James Lapine, who directed the original production.) Previous incarnations have featured some memorable technical trickery — the image that had most stayed with me from 1984 was of Peters’ bustled dress continuing to pose upright on its own, even as she stepped out of it to dance in her bloomers. But this stripped down Sunday doesn’t lack for its own theatrical delight and instead lets the characters’ yearnings fill the frame.
Diane Snyder – The Telegraph
Harmony and connection, two words that pop up repeatedly in the show, abound, not just between the leads but among the entire 20-person ensemble. Gyllenhaal may be the main draw for ticket buyers, but this heavenly production is stronger than any one star.
Joe Dziemianowicz – NY Daily News
Jake Gyllenhaal’s got it, by George! A handsome, nimble singing voice to go with his solid acting chops, that is. It’s all on exhibition in Broadway’s wonderful revival of “Sunday in the Park with George” at the newly renovated Hudson Theatre.
Robert Hofler – The Wrap
In 2017, it’s easy to watch the new “Sunday,” which opened Thursday at the Hudson Theatre, and remember back to the days when Sondheim was called cold and analytical and unfeeling. Those are precisely the charges made against George Seurat in Lapine’s book, which also makes clear that the pointillist painter never sold a painting in his lifetime. That’s where the comparison between Sondheim and Seurat falters a bit. Sondheim got his musicals produced, but in the 1970s and 1980s few of his shows recouped to make even a modest profit.