Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sunday Opens Thursday Night

Sunday Opens Thursday Night

This evening, the first full-blown Broadway revival Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's musical Sunday In The Park With George opens at Roundabout Theatre Company's Studio 54 under the direction of Sam Buntrock.

It was Buntrock who in 2006 famously brought the tuner back to life in the fledgling little London theatre known as the Menier Chocolate Factory, prior to it being whisked away to the West End. There, it dominated the Olivier Awards a year ago Monday, winning five awards, including for Outstanding Musical Production, Best Actor in a Musical (Daniel Evans) and Best Actress in a Musical (Jenna Russell).

Now, Buntrock has brought Evans and Russell stateside to cast their spell on the Great White Way's landscape in the first real revival of the beloved show about the labor of love and art.

The cast features many Broadway veterans like Michael Cumpsty, Jessica Molaskey, Mary Beth Peil and Ed Dixon, along with a couple who know their way around Sondheim revivals: Anne L. Nathan (Emma Goldman in Assassins), Alexander Gemignani (John Hinkley in Assassins and Beadle in Sweeney Todd).

The first Broadway production of Sunday In The Park With George played the Booth Theatre for a total of 604 performances, opening on May 2, 1984. Directed by Lapine, the show starred Mandy Patinkin as George/George and Bernadette Peters as Dot/Marie. While that Sunday would fail to win any major Tony Awards (winning only Best Scenic Design for Tony Straiges and Best Lighting Design for Richard Nelson), losing out to the year's big winner La Cage Aux Folles, it would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Here's a taste of irony. Menier is now restaging La Cage Aux Folles in a sold-out run starring Douglas Hodge, one of Russell's co-stars from the recent London hit revival of Guys And Dolls. How's that for putting it together, bit by sweet delicious bit?

With all eyes now focused squarely on Studio 54, will Buntrock's magic be heralded anew? Find out tomorrow as I not only provide my critics' capsule, but also my own SOB Review.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Show Deals: Breaking The Code (February 10, 2008)
Looking Forward: The SOB Top Five (January 2, 2008)
Sunday In The Park With Daniel And Jenna (May 7, 2007)
"Sunday" In Studio 54 With Roundabout (February 23, 2007)
Is It Just Me, Or...(Part II) (February 21, 2007)
Sunday At The Grosvenor House With Laurence (February 19, 2007)
Which British Hits Will Be Broadway-Bound? (September 20, 2006)
Sunday in the Park With George Revival Opens in London's West End (May 23, 2006)

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