Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Sunday in the Park with George musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine at a packed SecondStory Repertory. Directed by Harry Turpin & music directed by John Allman starring Brian Pucheu & Jacqueline Tardanico. Story centered around Georges Seurat’s famous painting.
Synopsis from the Theatre: Inspired by the painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s stunning masterpiece, merges past and present into beautiful, poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art. One of the most acclaimed musicals of our time, this moving study of the enigmatic painter, Georges Seurat, won a Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for an astounding ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Reviewed Performance: 5/12/23
World Premiere: No
Several or Few Scenes: Several
Several or Few Settings/Locations: Several
Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: None
Defined Plot/Storyline: Not really. The lack of a strong storyline reminded me of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins (which I also saw at SecondStory Repertory or Company musicals.
Live Band/Orchestra: Yes
Recommendation: See it if you like Stephen Sondheim’s signature style and if you’re okay with no extensive plot.
Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show: Yes
Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4 stars (Out of 5 Stars)
Equity Actors: 0
Total Number of Actors: 15
Length (Including Any Intermission): 2.5 hours
Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts
- Leading Actors: Brian Pucheu (George) and Jacqueline Tardanico (Dot/Marie) were well-cast leads in this performance. Brian delivered his lines with a genteel speaking voice. Jacqueline singing voice was strongly projected yet controlled with a beautiful slight vibrato.
- Semi-transparent Canvas: Brian “painted” while facing the audience without the canvas obscuring his face or body. This was possible because the canvas was a semi-transparent curtain. See one of the pictures at the end of this review.
- Favorite Characters: The two Celeste characters (Savannah Lynn and Daire Byrne) were delightful especially in their interactions with the soldier (Graham Arthur Blair). Also, as an arguably unsophisticated American (my favorite food is McDonald’s french fries), I identified with the unsophsticated American tourists exploring France (played by Kristie “Kiki” Werner and James Webster).
- Stephen Sondheim: As I mentioned in my Into the Woods review, I’m not a huge a fan of Sondheim’s works, which is probably blasphemous to mention on a theatre website! What can I say? The emperor has no clothes!
Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)
- Sondheim Elements: Naturally, this show reminded me of elements from Sondheim’s other musicals. When Brian Pucheu (George) scatted “bum bum bum” in a staccato manner while painting, it reminded me of the judge doing the same thing as Sweeney Todd shaved him. Also, act one’s ending was so conclusive that the audience might think the show has ended similarly to how the audience might feel that at the end of Into the Woods act one. Side note, it would have been better if Sunday in the Park with George act one ended at a cliffhanger during Dot’s reveal to George.
Theatre Company: SecondStory Repertory
Venue: SecondStory Repertory
Venue Physical Address: 7325 166th Ave NE Ste F250, Redmond, WA 98052
Dates: May 5 to 28, 2023
Seating: General Admission
Parking: Free lot or free garage parking provided by the Redmond Town Square outdoor mall where the theatre company rents.
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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video by Michael Brunk
Cast and Production Team: See after pictures and video below
@showsiveseen "#Sunday in the Park with George" #musical by Stephen #Sondheim & James Lapine at a packed SecondStory Repertory. Directed by @Harry Turpin & music directed by John Allman starring Brian Pucheu & @Jacqueline Tardanico. Story centered around #GeorgesSeurat's famous #painting. Photos by Michael Brunk. Review: showsiveseen.com/5460 #StephenSondheim #theatre ♬ original sound – Shows I've Seen
|Cece Leavitt||Old Lady/Blair|
|Graham Arthur Blair||Soldier/Alex|
|Savannah Lynn||Celeste 1/Waitress|
|Daire Byrne||Celeste 2/Elaine|
|Kristie (Kiki) Werner||Mrs/Nurse/Harriett|
|Britt Boyd (called)||Freida/Betty|
|Don Zheng||Louis/Billy Webster|
|Doug Fahl||Jules/Bob Greenberg|
|James Webster||Mr/Lee Randolph|
|Miles Wingett||Boatman/Charles Redmond|
|Stephen Sondheim||Composer and Lyricist|
|John Allman||Musical Director|
|Tatiana Boggs||Assistant Music Director|
|Valerie Reid||Stage Management|
|Mark Chenovick||Production Design|