Saturday, May 02, 2020

My First Sondheim Show

Over the years, I have seen hundreds of shows. And while I was very aware of Stephen Sondheim in high school, I didn't actually see one of his shows until after I moved to New York. Actually, it was over sixteen years after I moved here. Now while I did see a recorded production of Into The Woods during it's original run, as well as multiple viewings of the film version of West Side Story, I had never seen a live production of his work until 2008. The show? Sunday In The Park With George. Now as much as I loved some of his other show's, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this one.

I don't know, I guess the idea of a whole musical based on a painting seemed a little too artistic for my taste. The good thing is, is that it was a free ticket, and who was I to turn that down? So there I sat in the Orchestra at Studio 54, a theatre I knew very well having worked there for many years during the 1998 Tony Award winning revival of Cabaret. Plus, I had heard nothing but amazing things about this production when it played at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London a few years prior, where it won five Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Production.

Not only that, but it's leading man Daniel Evans, would be reprising his Olivier Award winning performance as George Seurat. So now the $64,000 question. "Did I like it"? No. I loved it. In fact, it is now not only one of my favorite Sondheim productions, but one of my favorite theatrical experiences of all time. Oh and by the way, the original production of Sunday in the Park With George, opened exactly thirty-six years ago today at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. Another tie in once again. Stay safe everyone, and look out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

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