Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Sunday Kind of Love

Tonight, BillyBoy and I went to see Sunday in the Park with George. It was my second time. I watched for a more precise first act, hoped for a warmer Dot and listened for a fuller orchestra. I went for the repeat of the chills I experienced the first time from Daniel Evans and Mary Beth Peil's Beautiful, Jenna Russell's Children and Art and Daniel Evans' Finishing the Hat. I returned for the blank walls of the stage becoming the canvas. I especially went for the first Sunday at the bottom of the first act and then the reprise at the end of the second act.

Jenna Russell as Marie won me during the second act on the first night, but tonight she won me during the first act as Dot. Her humor was relaxed, her love intense. Mary Beth Peil was even more tender as George's mother. The found the lighting and projection even more fascinating and beautiful this time.

My only disappointment was the orchestra - it lacks fullness, grandness and cohesiveness. My seat the first night and tonight was on the right side of the mezzanine, close to the musicians' box. Perhaps the sound is more balanced from below. The clarinet is too harsh on its own. Plus, there's no French horn, or even a simulation of one.

I saw my friend Michael there. He introduced me to Anthony Dean Griffey, who Sally and I will see in Peter Grimes at the Met on March 24th, its closing night. I just recently watched - and re-watched - his powerful performance in the broadcast of Rise and Fall of The City of Mahagonny from LA Opera.


Bill said...

I really enjoyed seeing this with you. This production gave me a deeper appreciation of the material than I ever thought possible - I cried throughout the first act as you know (I always had been a second act Sunday weeper!) - and I could think of a hundred cliches to describe the splendors of Jenna Russell and Mary Beth Peil. I was in comparison mode for the first 20 minutes, but that soon dissolved. For the first time, Everybody Loves Louis made me cry! It's those darn cluster chords and "but George has George/And I need someone... Louis." And what a rapt audience, which was a blessing.

I never thought I'd get the to see a fully-staged New York mounting of SUNDAY, and I can't wait to go back again and again. Sure, there are some flaws, I'm not comfortable with Daniel Evans, nor the pace of Act II, (nor that saxophone, surely they can get a soundcue for those french horn cells) but I'm sure things will be cleaned up during previews.

Bob said...

Um - there's no French Horn? That's pretty pathetic. That last horn call always gets me. Also doesn't help that I played Horn for 13 years. Did you, too, Sarah?

Sarah B. Roberts said...

I do play French horn.

karigee said...

You poor horny twosome :-(

Unknown said...

I cant wait. Im going to NY from Scotland to see SITPWG in Feb.