Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday at Studio 54 with George, Dot, Kari, Sally, Noah, and Kevin

We saw the first preview of the first revival of Sunday in the Park with George. It was not quite everything that it should be, yet it was. I'm seeing it again with my dear Billy Boy on Wednesday.




5 comments:

Bill said...

That is one big glass of wine.

Episode 23 is out.

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Sarah, I'm intrigued by your comment. Hope to hear more about what you mean by your statement.

Jim F. said...

First of all... you're a treasure.

Which is why it's worthwhile to differ with you.

If you mean that the Menier staging didn't have James Lapine's direction underestimating both his text and the New York audience, you're right.

If you mean that it didn't have histrionic leads who played and sang their roles like the belligerent egos of Punch and Judy, you're right.

What I saw (through tears) was not only the peak of Sondheim and Lapine as collaborative dramatists but what may have been the best script that emerged from NYC theater in the 1980's.

In this production the second act not only works, it drills through both the audiences and the second George. Things HAPPEN on stage. Things HAPPEN to him (who is a specific character from his entrance). And transcedence is not only earned but shown and felt deeply by George and the audience. (He wasn't the only one to gasp in the mezzanine.)

The production showed why George and Dot should have belonged together... their overlapping processes... his visual and creative... hers verbal and insightful.

This is a Dot who does not belt everything but who is directed in a way where she listens to every word she sings and says... she is not involved in a game of mutual laceration with Seurat but a struggle to find a direction in life away from his Aspergerish opaquity and pain. And yet this is a George who clearly loves Dot and is so troubled within himself that the pain and the issues are inherited fully by his great-grandson.

Lapine's writing is first rate and for the first time the play takes place not only onstage but within each audience member. Buntrock is not only a master of staging, he is a genuine director of actors.

See it again... if you can.

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Sarah, After reading Jim's comments, I'm very, very excited about finally seeing this show live on stage.

Kari said...

Adore the original, loved it at Ravinia, loved pieces of this, but the whole left me oddly cold. I'm curious to know if visit #2 will change your initial reaction. Have fun out there, cats!