Well I just got back from seeing Sunday in the Park with George, a musical by Stephen Sondheim based upon Georges Seurat’s painting ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’. I enjoyed it, I enjoy most if not all of Sondheim’s work. There’s usually a challenge in his work. It was an excellent production though in the first act I suffered from heavy eyelids.
The sound was not as good as I had hoped and with the uncomfortable seats (if you’re over 5’5” theater seats on Broadway can be painful) I found myself a bit drowsy for a millisecond or two. Not Sondheim’s fault. We all enjoyed it, my brother Frank, his wife Elaine and their daughters Meghan and Corinne, though Frank and myself probably enjoyed it most.
He’s the one who got me into Sondheim over 20 years ago with a trip to see Sweeney Todd performed by the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. For me, today’s play all came together at the very end, the very last note, the last words in the play, which was basically a gasp from present day George.
The effects on stage were incredible and couldn’t be done when the play premiered in the 1980’s. A good use of digital imagery that certainly took one’s breath away. Tonight the play is up for a few Tony awards, and there is fierce competition. I might have a reason to actually watch the Tony Awards tonight. I know Bill wants to see Whoopi Goldberg hosting so it all seems set.
I’ve already ordered the soundtrack to the show online, and plan to contact the Roundabout Theater Company to see if they have the ‘usher program’ that they had 10 years ago when I saw Cabaret for free. It was a good deal, wear black trousers, a white dress shirt and you tell theater goers to wait until an usher arrives to seat them.
I asked one of the ushers today about the program and she had no idea what I was talking about. The play closes June 29 so I’d better get on the ball tomorrow. People had better turn off their cellphones before a Broadway show. I don’t understand how stupid and rude some people can be. And that goes for texting as well. It happened a few times during this afternoon’s performance.
On the way into the city on the bus, I got a phone call from Elaine. They had actually gotten to the theater before I did, which is a switch since someone in the Garfield contingent usually holds back everyone causing chronic lateness. I said into the phone, ‘since when are you early?’ This got a chuckle from a passenger next to me.
As we crawled through the tunnel he mentioned what a funny thing it was that I had said. We started talking about music and politics. It turned out his name was Ray Robinson, son of legendary boxer, Sugar Ray Robinson. He was heading in to see his wife and kids. I confessed my anxiety about being late for the play as well as being late for some people who are generally always late.
He was reassuring and I told him that it was nice chatting with him, but once the doors of the bus open I would be gone. And gone I was, running through the bus terminal and hopping into a taxi to drive up Eighth Avenue for 12 blocks. I made it and found the four of them outside the theater. I definitely want to see this play again and hope I can for free.
Happy Father’s Day to all the father’s out there…