Sunday In The Park On Broadway 2008

This was the official website for the 2008 production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George.
The content is from the site's archived pages and other sources.


THIS PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING love story takes inspiration from painter Georges Seurat's masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” bringing the painting's colorful setting and characters to vibrant, comic life. Heading the superb cast are two-time Olivier Award winner Daniel Evans (as George) and Olivier Award winner Jenna Russell (as Dot). With a score by six-time Tony award-winning legend Stephen Sondheim, a book by three-time Tony winner James Lapine and direction by Olivier Award nominee Sam Buntrock, Sunday... celebrates the art of creation and the creation of art.

The Story

The new, five-time Olivier Award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George. A celebration of life, love, art and the spirit of creation, Sunday in the Park with George is a profoundly moving piece of musical theatre history. Don't miss this inventive new production in its highly anticipated American premiere!

Performance Schedule

January 25 - June 29, 2008
Studio 54, 254 W 54th St, New York City
(Between 7th & 8th Avenues)

Ticket Information

PRICING: $36.25 – $121.25


Sunday in the Park with George generated a lot of activity this awards season::

Theatre World Award WINNER
Jenna Russell

Outer Critics Circle Award WINNERS
- David Farley, Timothy Bird
& The Knifedge
Creative Network

Outstanding Scenic Design
- Ken Billington
Outstanding Lighting Design

Drama Desk Award WINNERS
- Jason Carr
Outstanding Orchestrations
- Timothy Bird & The Knifedge Creative Network
Outstanding Projection & Video Design


Connecting Philosophy, Sondheim and Seurat

MAY 28, 2008
The topic of the day’s seminar was “Kripke on Philosophy of Mind and Wittgenstein,” and the first couple of philosophers on the docket began speaking of the seeming possibility of the falsity of necessity and how it can be epistemologically possible to conceive of a metaphysical impossibility. As this was being discussed, a reporter discovered that it is very possible to contract a throbbing headache, and quickly.

But next to the reporter, a man sat with the easy and comprehending smile of someone at a folk-rock concert. He was Daniel Evans, currently in the running for a Tony Award for his performance as George in the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Sunday in the Park With George,” the musical about art according to Seurat. Mr. Evans is a student of philosophy, not in the dilettante sense, but in the real, cram-for-the-exam sense. He just finished his fourth year in a six-year course for a bachelor’s degree in political philosophy. (Attending this seminar, at the City University of New York Graduate Center, was voluntary.)

Under a barrage of Wittgensteinian logic that would break a lesser man, Mr. Evans kept up remarkably good humor. As soon as philosophy professor No. 3 wound up his lesson on, among other things, the appropriate application of the robust truth-conditional theory of meaning to Kripke’s rule following paradox, Mr. Evans dove into his backpack and came up with two bananas: one for himself and one for the fading reporter. “For low blood sugar,” he whispered helpfully.

Political philosophy, at least the political part of it, has been an interest for some time, said the boyish Mr. Evans, who arrived at the seminar in the tweed jacket and cap of a gentleman farmer. He then revealed, with a hint of mischief, that he has spent a night in a London police station for spray-painting political graffiti on a government building.

IMAGE: Evans1190.jpg
Mr. Evans, 34, was born in Rhondda, a small town in south Wales, in a valley once teeming with coal miners, the occupation of his grandfathers. Welsh was the language of his father and siblings when he was growing up. “Sondheim for some reason likes it,” Mr. Evans said. “He said after Russian, Welsh was his favorite sound.” (The impending passage of a bill preserving the Welsh language was the occasion for Mr. Evans’s run-in with the law; he thought the bill was too weak.)
There is a yearly cultural festival in Wales, the National Eisteddfod, in which Mr. Evans participated, and which propelled him into a career as a child actor. He went to acting school for a couple of years, then dropped out to join the Royal Shakespeare Company, which he would keep returning to after stints in other subsidized theaters like the National, the Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Court. In 1999 Trevor Nunn picked him to play Candide. Mr. Evans more or less taught himself how to do musical theater. He was nominated for an Olivier Award and became a rare creature: a musical actor with a deep classical background

It doesn’t take a casting director to tell what kind of roles Mr. Evans is naturally suited for. Puck, sure. Peter Pan, definitely. Sweeney Todd may be a bit of a stretch.

“I was playing young lads in new plays and young lovers in Shakespeare plays,” Mr. Evans said. His first Broadway role was Lysander in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; his first Olivier Award was for his performance as Charley Kringas in “Merrily We Roll Along,” a musical in which characters start out middle-aged and become younger. An actor in “Merrily” is either most convincing in the beginning or the end. Mr. Evans’s strength was at the end.

But in 2003 Mr. Evans found himself playing against type. He had been cast, in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of “Measure for Measure,” as Angelo, the unlikable but morally complicated antagonist. It is, undeniably, a grown-up role. Mr. Evans didn’t feel comfortable with his performance and neither did some of the critics. He was 30, single, balding fast and making a rough discovery: boyish charm and niceness will get you far, but only so far and for so long. Peter Pan is make-believe.

So he decided to do two things: begin directing his own productions and, inspired by a fellow actor at the Royal Shakespeare, earn a degree through the Open University, a British program for adult education. The autodidactic impulse was vintage Evans, said Sam Buntrock, director of this revival of “Sunday,” which was originally produced at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

IMAGE: Evans2650.jpg

“He is one of the smartest actors I’ve ever worked with,” Mr. Buntrock said in a telephone interview. He talked at length of Mr. Evans’s acting instincts, but a more apt example may be this one: “He could barely draw a pint glass when we started. Now, just through drawing on stage eight times a week, he’s gotten really very good at it. It’s quite stunning.”

Mr. Buntrock said that Mr. Evans never brought up his course work in rehearsals. (Mr. Buntrock learned of it only when Mr. Evans took a day off for an exam.)

Mr. Evans said that he did not use the ideas of the classroom to inform his performance in “Sunday.” Not that he hasn’t thought about it.

In “Sunday,” you’ve got your basic Kantian aesthetics (“What the eye arranges,” George sings, “is what is beautiful”) and Democritean atomism (“Dot by dot/ Building up the image”), Mr. Evans said. But he added that he was most struck by the musical’s exploration of Marx’s ideas of alienation: “We do not belong together/ Though we should have belonged together.”

“I find ‘Sunday’ is full of Marx,” Mr. Evans said on the subway ride to Studio 54, where the show is playing. He pointed out how the George of the second act is completely divorced from his work and even his actions. “He’s literally watching himself as he works the room.”

Asked if he thought Mr. Sondheim would share all these observations, Mr. Evans just laughed. As Wittgenstein wrote, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

Correction: May 29, 2008
A summary capsule on Wednesday for an article in The Arts about Daniel Evans, an actor who is the star of a Broadway revival of “Sunday in the Park With George” and is also studying philosophy, misidentified the university in New York where he recently attended a philosophy seminar. It was at the City University of New York Graduate Center, not New York University.

“Sunday in the Park With George” continues through June 29 at Studio 54, 254 West 54th Street, Manhattan, (212) 719-1300.



Who's Who

Daniel Evans (George) is an Honorary Fellow of the Guildhall School. He has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Royal Festival Hall, Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse and Menier Chocolate Factory, among others, in plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, J.M. Barrie, Peter Gill, Caryl Churchill, Christopher Hampton, Sarah Kane and Christopher Shinn and musicals by Bernstein, Wright / Forrest / Yeston and Sondheim. Daniel received Olivier Awards for his performances in Merrily We Roll Along (2001) and Sunday in the Park With George (2007). Television: “The Passion,” “Doctor Who,” “The Virgin Queen,” “Love in a Cold Climate,” “Great Expectations,” “Daniel Deronda,” “To the Ends of the Earth.” Concerts include Barbara Cook's 80th birthday celebration, Sweeney Todd with Bryn Terfel.

Jenna Russell (Dot / Marie). Broadway debut. She has played many leading roles in the West End, most recently Amy in the revival of David Hares Amy's View, directed by Sir Peter Hall; Dot/Marie in Sunday in the Park With George (Olivier Award, 2007); and Sarah Brown opposite Ewan McGregor in the Donmar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls directed by Michael Grandage (Olivier nom., 2006). Other theatre includes leading roles at the Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Donmar Warehouse and Royal Court. Her extensive television credits include “Born and Bred” (four seasons), “On the Up” (three seasons) and was recently killed by a Dalek in “Dr. Who” (all BBC).

Michael Cumpsty (Jules / Bob Greenberg). Broadway: 1776 and The Constant Wife at Roundabout, Democracy, Copenhagen, Enchanted April, 42nd Street, Electra, Racing Demon, The Heiress, Translations, La Bête, Timon of Athens, Artist Descending a Staircase. Off-Broadway: Hamlet (Obie Award), Richard II and Richard III, Timon of Athens, All's Well That Ends Well, Cymbeline, A Winter's Tale, King John, Romeo and Juliet. Royal Shakespeare Company: A Winter's Tale. Film: The Ice Storm, Fatal Instinct, Flags of Our Fathers, The Ex, Starting Out in the Evening.

Alexander Gemignani (Boatman / Dennis). Roundabout: John Hinckley in Assassins (Theatre World Award for outstanding Broadway debut). Additional Broadway: original Jean Valjean in the revival of Les Misérables (Drama League nomination); the Beadle in Sweeney Todd (Drama Desk nomination); Brian in Avenue Q. Sweeney Todd in the 2007 national tour of Sweeney Todd (Toronto and Columbus). Concerts: Sondheim's 75th at the Hollywood Bowl and Wall to Wall Sondheim at Symphony Space. TV/film: Live from Lincoln Center's production of Passion; PBS' production of South Pacific and the film The Producers.

Jessica Molaskey (Yvonne / Naomi / Eisen). Broadway: Parade, Tommy, Dream, Crazy for You, Chess, Les Misérables, Oklahoma!, Cats. Off-Broadway: A Man of No Importance (Lincoln Center), Songs for a New World (WPA Theater), Dream True (Vineyard Theatre), Wise Guys (New York Theatre Workshop). Jessica has made more than a dozen recordings including four solo CDs and has sung in concert halls worldwide. Other solo engagements include the Oak Room (2007 Nightlife Award) and the Cafe Carlyle with husband John Pizzarelli (2008 Nightlife Award). She cohosts a nationally syndicated radio show called “Radio Deluxe.”

Mary Beth Peil (Old Lady / Blair Daniels), seen in Roundabout's Nine (OCC nom.), made her Broadway debut opposite Yul Brynner in The King and I (Tony nom.). An Obie winner, her Off-Broadway credits include the plays of Albee, Guerney, Pinter, Ibsen and Rudnick at the Atlantic, Playwrights Horizons, NY Theatre Workshop, Signature. Recent regional: Arena Stage (33 Variations), Long Wharf (Cocktail Hour), About Face (M. Proust, Thomas Jefferson nomination), Kennedy Center (Sweeney Todd). TV: “Dawson's Creek,” “The Reagans,” “L&O,” “SVU.” Film: Flags of Our Fathers, The Stepford Wives, The Odd Couple II; upcoming: Mirrors.

Ed Dixon (Mr. / Charles Redmond). Broadway: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Best Man, The Iceman Cometh, Les Misérables, Cyrano, The Three Musketeers, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Off-Broadway: Shylock (Drama Desk nomination), The Persians, Here Lies Jenny, Under the Bridge. National tours: Sunset Boulevard, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Pippin. Author/composer: Fanny Hill, Richard Cory, Scenery, Cather County.

Santino Fontana (Bather / Soldier / Alex). Broadway debut. NY theatre: The Fantasticks (original revival cast), Perfect Harmony. Regional: the title role in Hamlet, As You Like It, Death of a Salesman, Six Degrees of Separation, A Christmas Carol (the Guthrie); Hay Fever (Old Globe); Love's Labor's Lost, On the Verge, 9/11 Project (Chautauqua); Most Wanted, NY Is Bleeding (Sundance). Presidential Scholar in the Arts; BFA Guthrie/UMN Actor Training Program.

Kelsey Fowler (Louise). Broadway: Grey Gardens (Lee Bouvier). Film: Made for Each Other (Enola). TV: “The View.” Recording: Grey Gardens CD, The Sound of Music. Industrial: Verizon-FIOS. Workshop/reading: SOM (Marta). Special thanks to God, my amazing family, Doris, Chris Kaufmann, Ed Donau, ACA school staff, Rachel, Ellen, Bonnie at Abrams for your inspiration and guidance as I pursue my dreams!

Jessica Grové (Celeste #2 / A Photographer). Broadway: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Dorothy); Les Misérables (Eponine), The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Madison Square Garden/nat'l tour (Jefferson nomination). NYC: Bye Bye Birdie (Kim), Anne of Green Gables (Diana). Also, the nat'l tour of The Boy Friend (Polly), dir. Julie Andrews; Laurey in Oklahoma! (Pittsburgh CLO); and the NY premiere of Busker Alley (Libby).

Alison Horowitz (Louise). Age 11. Broadway debut. Workshop: Shrek: A New Musical (Young Fiona). Numerous community productions including Into the Woods, Bye Bye Birdie, Seussical and O l i v e r . Special thanks to Icon Entertainment, RFKT and Anya Wallach, Abrams Artists, Marci Elyn Schein and this amazing cast and crew. Love to Mom, Dad, Jeff and all my friends and family.

Stacie Morgain Lewis (Frieda / Betty) was most recently seen as Glinda in the Chicago production of Wicked. B'way: Wicked (Glinda standby), Urinetown, Titanic. Off-B'way: Don't Quit Your Night Job. National tours: Titanic, South Pacific. Regional: My Fair Lady; Sarah, Plain and Tall; ...Charlie Brown; A Chorus Line. Film: Elephant Shoes. BFA, Ithaca College. For Vivian Gray and Greta June.

Drew McVety (Bather / Louis / Billy Webster). Broadway: Roundabout's Big River (Special Tony Award), Spamalot, Frozen, Titanic, The Heidi Chronicles. Tours: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Cabaret. Off-Broadway: Lone Star Love, Corpus Christi (Drama Desk nomination), This Lime Tree Bower. Television: All the “Law and Orders,” all the New York soaps, “Molly Dodd.” Lucky husband of Nicole Van Giesen. Proud father of Duncan Gray.

Anne L. Nathan (Nurse / Mrs. / Harriet Pawling). Roundabout: Assassins. Broadway: Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Ragtime. National tours: Aspects of Love, Les Misérables. Regional: George Street, Barrington Stage, the Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, the Asolo, the Citadel. Film/TV: Baby Mama; King of California; “Dirt”; “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Trial By Jury” and “SVU”; “Veronica Mars”; “What I Like About You”; “Bull,” etc.

Brynn O'Malley (Celeste #1 / Elaine). Broadway: Hairspray (Amber Von Tussle), Beauty and the Beast (Belle u/s). Regional highlights: Avenue Q (Kate Monster/Lucy T. Slut), Wynn Las Vegas; She Loves Me (Amalia, Helen Hayes Award nom.), Arena Stage; Arsenic and Old Lace (Elaine), Baltimore Center Stage; Meet Me in St. Louis (Esther), Paper Mill. BFA, U. of Michigan. Proud AEA member.

David Turner (Franz / Lee). Roundabout: The Ritz. B'way: The Invention of Love, In My Life. National tour: Sir Robin in Spamalot (Helen Hayes nom.). Off-B'way: Gutenberg! The Musical!, The Butter and Egg Man (Atlantic), Shakespeare (Abridged) and others. Mr. Turner is an award-winning composer/lyricist and the writer/director of a feature-length film (The Debut) and a documentary about

Stephen Sondheim (Music and Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971; revised in London, 1987), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), as well as the lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983) and Putting It Together (1993/99) are anthologies of his work. He composed the film scores of Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (Academy Award, 1990). He also wrote songs for the television production "Evening Primrose" (1966), co-authored, with Anthony Perkins, the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and, with George Furth, the play Getting Away with Murder (1996), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961) and Twigs (1971). He won Tony Awards for Best Score for a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Follies and Company. All of these shows won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, as did Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George, the latter also receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Saturday Night (1954), his first professional musical, finally had its New York premiere in 1999 at Second Stage Theatre.

James Lapine (Book) also collaborated with Stephen Sondheim on Into the Woods, Passion, and directed a revised version of Merrily We Roll Along at the La Jolla Playhouse.  With William Finn he collaborated on the musicals March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, later presented together on Broadway as Falsettos.  He has recently directed Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, currently running on Broadway.  He is the author of five plays:  Table Settings;  Twelve Dreams;  Luck, Pluck and Virtue;  The Moment When;  and Fran’s Bed.  On Broadway he has also directed The Diary of Anne Frank, Golden Child by David Henry Hwang and Dirty Blonde by Claudia Shear, Amour by Michel Legrand and Jeremy Sams, as well as the films Impromptu, Life with Mikey, and Earthly Possessions.

Sam Buntrock (Director).As resident assistant director at the Donmar:  Juno and the Paycock, Three Days of Rain, Helpless,and The Real Thing (also Albery and Broadway).  He directed the first London revival of Assassins (New End), Marcus Brigstocke’s one man shows Get a Life and Help Yourself (Edinburgh and national tour) and Dr. Ox’s Experiment (Hackney Empire).  As the fourth member of the comedy trio Club Seals he created the animation for The Club Seals Collection, The Award Winning Show, Live Ghost Hunt (Edinburgh and national tour), DJ Danny, Sins of the Grandfathers, the original stage version of the Museum of Everything and We Are History Award Winning Show, Live Ghost Hunt (Edinburgh and national tour), DJ Danny, Sins of the Grandfathers, the original stage version of the Museum of Everything and We Are History (BBC2).  As an animation director he has worked on numerous commercial and corporate projects and is a founder member of the Ninjasticks studio – whose short film, Spherical Jones, is due for completion in the summer of 2006.  Most recently he has also directed a workshop of Pinter’s Betrayal at the NT Studio.

THE MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Producer).  David Babani is artistic director of one of London’s most exciting new venues, The Menier Chocolate Factory.  Recent productions include:   Little Shop of Horrors (West End transfer, Duke of York's Theatre), The Last 5 Years, Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson, Sunday in the Park with George, What We Did to Weinstein, tick…tick…BOOM!, Murderer, Fully Committed (Winner Best Overall Fringe Production 2005 – Theatregoers’ Choice Awards) and Americana Absurdum.  Other productions include Forbidden Broadway (Albery) and The Donkey Show (Hanover Grand).  As artistic director of the Jermyn Street Theatre:  Simply Barbra which broke all box office records, transferred to the Playhouse Theatre and toured internationally, and Closer Than Ever by Maltby and Shire.  In Australia:  the world premiere of Symphonic Forbidden Broadway and international concerts with Jason Robert Brown, Andrew Lippa and Maltby and Shire (all at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival).  Other productions include The English American by Alison Larkin (Soho Theatre), Boom Chicago (Jermyn Street, Soho, Royal Festival Hall) and a hugely successful production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins (New End).