This weekend I popped up to New York to hang out with my friend Brennen and he surprised me with theater tickets to see Sunday in the Park with George!
Freshmen year of college Brennen and I took a class about the works of Stephen Sondheim, and one of the musicals we studied was Sunday in the Park with George. We watched a filmed version of the 1985 original Broadway cast as part of our class and then walked around humming the songs all week. Flash forward and last night we sat down to watch one of the preview performances of the 2017 production.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jake Gyllenhaal. I’ve never heard him sing, and I’m always wary when Hollywood movie actors head to Broadway. That said, I was very impressed. He has a nice voice and he did a solid job playing George. I was surprised how much I enjoyed his singing. Annaleigh Ashford, a Broadway veteran, was also on top of her game as Dot/ Marie. George is stoic and Dot is the emotional heart of the show, and Gyllenhaal and Ashford captured this contrast well.
The set was minimal but effective, and the costumes were fun. I had liked the show okay when I saw the filmed version, but I enjoyed seeing it live much more. That said, I still think the second act isn’t really necessary. The first act fits together so neatly and the second act always feels like a really weird direction to take the show. This production was good and handled the second act well, but I still think Sondheim should have just made this a one act musical.
What’s a trip without a souvenir? My souvenir for this trip was a mug from the show. One side has the show name, and the other side says “Art isn’t easy”. I loved the poster art for this show, but I’m not much of a poster person, so a mug was the easy choice.
Sunday in the Park with George is only showing for 10 weeks on Broadway so if you want to see it, get tickets soon!