Love and Art on a Sunday

Photo from NJ.com

After having heard rave reviews, I got tickets to see Sunday in the Park with George with my family for my mother’s birthday. We started the night off with a delicious dinner at Carmine’s (a choice fitting for my mother’s picky and unadventurous eating habits). Then we walked over to Studio 54 for the show.

The curtain raised to show a blank, white room. Then paintstrokes were magically projected on to the room as the stage transformed to the setting of George Seurat’s famous painting. Throughout the play, these projected effects drew the audience into the experience and beauty of the painting.

The plot focuses on the creation of Seurat’s most famous work, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, along with the love story of him and his young model, relevantly named Dot. Daniel Evans artfully portrays this painter as a kind man with a scientific mind, obsessed with perfecting his work. Co-star Jenna Russell plays his lover with a genuineness and grace that easily wins the sympathy of the audience (despite my mother whispering to me that she wished we could see Bernadette Peters in the role).

The second act takes place in modern times and lacks a bit of the beauty and whimsy of the first act (reminding me a little of another Songheim play, Into the Woods). But the play finishes beautifully, making this production itself a piece of art.

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