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Sunday in the Park with George

Members say: Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite

About the show

City Center's revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical comes to Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford.

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This classic musical follows painter Georges Seurat (Jake Gyllenhaal) in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." Consumed by his need to "finish the hat," Seurat alienates the French bourgeoisie, spurns his fellow artists, and neglects his lover Dot (Annaleigh Ashford), not realizing that his actions will reverberate over the next 100 years.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The New York Times

"Something deeper than love — closer to religious gratitude — is the sentiment you may experience in the finale that concludes the first act of the marvelous revival...This interpretation comes across with more personal, in-the-moment intimacy than any I’ve seen...Mr. Gyllenhaal invests every note he sings with the rapt determination of someone trying to capture and pin down the elusive...Ashford's performance at City Center was charming; this time, it’s much more than that." Full Review


"The music is the real star in this solid revival of a modern classic...Thrillingly, the chorus has improved tenfold since the concert reading at City Center...While the formality of Lapine's script gave the City Center reading a sense of excitement akin to discovering an old diary buried in the attic, it feels stilted in this more polished production. Director Sarna Lapine has rehearsed the life out of a staging that previously felt fresh and new. Luckily, the two leads are a major exception." Full Review


"Under the direction of Sarna Lapine, the staging is more theatrically structured than it was at City Center, with its stools and lecterns. But even as retooled, the show retains the quality of serene simplicity that heightens the poignant beauty of the score...If it weren’t for Gyllenhaal’s inherent charm and the affection of Ashford’s doting Dot, the artist’s commitment to his art ('I cannot look up from my pad') might not compensate for his overwhelming self-absorption." Full Review


"Its comparatively modest production values allow more focus on the excellent acting and the superior quality of the incisive words and emotion-draining music. This is one of the American musical theatre's finest literary creations...Jake Gyllenhaal's formerly soft take on Seurat has developed more desperate dimensions. Aided by a much stronger singing voice, he gets the point across that Seurat sees his own self-worth in his creations...A sparkling production of an important musical." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"Bare-bones but beautiful...Sondheim’s songs are so profound that they feel as if they had left the realm of lived experience and entered a Keatsian plane of absolute truth-beauty...It’s hard to keep your eyes off Gyllenhaal. But the performance is not as effortless as it might be...He is unable in Act Two to escape the interiority of the writing of modern-day George, and so the drama, always tenuous by this point, leaches out. Or would, were it not for the compensating talents of Ashford." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"'Sunday' plays exceptionally well at the intimate and altogether glorious Hudson. Gyllenhaal is very good...Sunday reveals Ashford as a full-fledged musical comedy star...Sarna Lapine has done a good job of adapting and enlarging her City Center staging...It is Gyllenhaal who not only sells the tickets but gives a compelling and welcome performance. He, Ashford and the rest—including, most certainly, Sondheim—make this a 'Sunday' to see." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Sondheim’s plangent, soaring score sounds marvelous. If Sarna Lapine’s budget staging reminds you that this version began as a concert, at least you can get lost in the music...You will be suitably swept away by Gyllenhaal’s passionately acted, exquisitely articulated George, the most psychologically cohesive and sympathetic rendition I’ve witnessed live...'Sunday' remains a masterpiece that affirms the painful, isolating joys of creation, and the need to learn new lessons." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Two stellar lead performances, an exceptionally fine supporting cast, and some of Stephen Sondheim's most ravishing songs...'Sunday in the Park with George' is, arguably, the most daring piece in Sondheim's canon...The most disappointing aspect of Lapine's production is its sheer lack of visual appeal...Still, fans of this landmark musical will want to collect the performances of Gyllenhaal and Ashford; they'll also relish the opportunity to hear the score sung by a first-rate company." Full Review

Theater Life

"The production is simple and direct. Stripped to its barest essence, the musical becomes an emotional feast as well as an intellectual one...Gyllenhaal proves you can be a major movie star as well as a musical talent...Gyllenhaal widens his range with a dazzlingly intense vocal and dramatic rendition of George’s conflict between his art and his personal life. Annaleigh Ashford displays exquisite pipes, timing and presence." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"With just a simple approach, every element here feels precise and correct...Ashford is marvelous...She’s so good and so gracious with Gyllenhaal that they really feel like a team up there...Gyllenhaal is excellent, surely acting this role as well as anyone ever has...They connect their two roles so seamlessly that the show has never felt so whole and complete to me, a unified work of perfection...Marries melody and lyrics and intellectual ideas with heartfelt emotion." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"The production has elevated an affecting work into something quite rare and exquisite. Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford bring richer shadings and startling emotional candor to their dual roles, supported by a gifted ensemble...Staged with grace and fluidity by Sarna Lapine...I don't recall ever experiencing the binding unity of creative vigor and purpose with such piercing solitude that Gyllenhaal brings to the two parts." Full Review

AM New York

"A superb revival...'Sunday' is a complex, rich and extremely rewarding work of art...It is a simple presentation that lacks the visual thrills of the original production. However, storytelling is focused and the score (played by a full orchestra) sounds as glorious as ever...Gyllenhaal’s Georges is sensitive, wounded and even sympathetic...As Dot, Ashford gives a bold performance in which she employs her comic abilities to superb effect but is also sexy, vulnerable and heartbreaking." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"A beautiful if low-key revival...Act II has never been more essential or more moving...The direction of Sarna Lapine is on the lean and informal side, and does not match Gyllenhaal's fire...The acting can be a bit on the unusual side, too...No one is ever unwatchable, or for that matter less than correct, and when they unite in song, never more than when 'La Grande Jatte' assembles in the Act I finale 'Sunday,' they could not be more right." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"Faultlessly sublime...This is a night of theatre, I will never forget. It is no wonder Sondheim and Lapine won the Pulitzer Prize for this masterpiece...With Jake Gyllenhaal as George, your heart aches...His vocals are impeccable...Director Sarna Lapine directs this 20 member cast with fluid aplomb...Lapine’s book is faultless now and Sondheim’s magnificent score reaches even farther into our beings, to transport us to musical heaven." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"An iconic and justly beloved musical...Gyllenhaal is at once distinctive, self-effacing and the boldest choice made in this uneven if intriguing production...The actor can certainly carry the musical demands of the show, but not with bravura flourish, for he does not have that kind of voice...Lapine's overall approach is a perfectly justifiable and resonant way into this show and, I'd wager, a closer match for where Lapine and Sondheim are with regard to their midlife show." Full Review

New York Daily News

"Jake Gyllenhaal’s got it, by George! A handsome, nimble singing voice to go with his solid acting chops, that is...Its power to stir the heart and head with its radiant score and unfading story about the art of making art — and love — is as strong as ever....The staging by Sarna Lapine remains efficient and spare...The stars are even better than before...A fine supporting cast that includes Robert Sean Leonard, Penny Fuller and Ruthie Ann Miles helps connect all the musical dots." Full Review


"Revelatory...This is a spectacular revival and the principals are simply breathtakingly good. The performances are assured – indeed, they’ve only grown in confidence. Moreover, the semi-staging by Sarna Lapine reveals (as if we needed reminding), one of the most beautiful, moving and endlessly inventive scores ever written, not to mention the equally ambitious and rewarding book that frames it." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"It’s hard to fathom but this Sondheim masterpiece has only gotten better...First and foremost, Jake Gyllenhaal is spectacular in the role. Once again, he is devastatingly good right from the beginning...Ashford, just like in the fall, still took a bit more convincing. I still struggled a bit with her too modern and American tone, but at moments it felt more appropriate for the part than either Bernadette Peters or Russell...The rest of the cast is also creating something spectacular." Full Review


“The great score, brilliant lyrics and witty storytelling make for a one-of-a-kind theatrical feast to be relished by anyone interested in musical theater…The current production is a treat whether you've seen it before or not…Gyllenhall's lyrical tenor voice and acting are as rich and colorful as those pointillist dots we see him dab on his canvas…The equally remarkable Ashford brings thrilling vocals and a great depth of feeling to the bittersweet artist-model romance.” Full Review

The Wrap

"What most impresses is Gyllenhaal's gift for understatement as an actor...It’s difficult for an actor to make that kind of slow-burn concentration theatrical. Gyllenhaal makes riveting...Sarna Lapine’s direction in the first act is serviceable in its spare Encores! approach, but she doesn’t find the necessary shape or concept to hide the flaws in Lapine’s second-act book. Fortunately, Sondheim’s score only gets better in the second act, and also there’s the delightful Ashford." Full Review


"One of the most profound musicals ever written...Gyllenhaal makes these iconic roles his own...Many of Sondheim’s songs here, while not altogether conventional, are among the finest ever penned for theater...It’s true that Gyllenhaal and Ashford basically do all the metaphorical heavy lifting here, but one must be grateful for the star-studded supporting cast...Go with your gut and don’t miss this rare opportunity to see this very special production of a very special show." Full Review

Front Row Center

"A jewel in its own right, radiant with talent, and shimmering with color and light...Heading a stellar, multi-ethnic supporting cast as well as Sondheim’s achingly beautiful musical score...This production will hold you enraptured throughout and leave you nearly spent of all emotion at its conclusion...This is a production for the ages, as good as it gets, a performance so exceptional, so overwhelming, you might be lucky enough to see something like it once, maybe twice in a lifetime." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

"Challenging but evocative...Gyllenhaal has the colossal task of playing the roles originated by Mandy Patinkin. His approach is powerful in its subtlety...Harmony and connection, two words that pop up repeatedly in the show, abound, not just between the leads but among the entire 20-person ensemble. Gyllenhaal may be the main draw for ticket buyers, but this heavenly production is stronger than any one star." Full Review


"Every once in a rare while, the theater rewards us with a kind of transcendent experience...Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford step up alongside Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters in the treasured place where I keep memories of the original 'Sunday in the Park With George.' They are that good...The production is less extravagant than others, but no less magical...The rest of the cast is equally splendid." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"The characters and their interactions all seem purposely one-dimensional, as if Sondheim and librettist James Lapine have taken the painting’s flattened perspectives a bit too literally...Sondheim’s vaguely dissonant, percussion-rich music is more successful at conveying the troubled modernist spirit of his subject’s work. But in the absence of a strong narrative the numbers seem mostly interchangeable...The drama suddenly bursts into life after the interval." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Enchanting, Intelligent, Great writing, Overrated, Great singing

See it if you love the music. You can do no wrong with this iconic piece of theatre.

Don't see it if However, this revival was lacking heart and soul. Nothing particularly "wow" (other than the clever Chromolume) about this remount.

Delightful, Exquisite, Great acting, Masterful, Great singing

See it if you want to see, hear and live one of Stephen Sondheim's classic musical.

Don't see it if you already saw it in the 1980's with the great Bernadette Peters.

Also Jake Giggenhall is a great actor, this classic musical played by Berna... Read more Read less

Masterful, Must see, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You love Sondheim, Jake, Annaleigh, and more

Don't see it if You are expecting a chorus line of dancers and jazz hands

Exquisite, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Resonant

See it if you want a stunningly touching production of this Pulitzer prize winning show written by the Master and so beautifully performed

Don't see it if you can't enjoy a show unless it has huge production values

Delightful, Great acting, Romantic, Great singing

See it if you are a fan of Sonheim. This is a classic show that should not have been missed. Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford are fanatstic.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Sonheim. The second act was quite confusing.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great writing

See it if you're a lover of art and a fan of Sondheim and his style.

Don't see it if you need a more straight-forward plot that is story based, rather than the message and morals.

Ambitious, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great cast

See it if Jake Gyllenhaal in a masterful musical performance. A Broadway all-star ensemble perform a difficult Sondheim musical.A beautiful Chromolume

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Sondheim, particularly Sunday. Not always the easiest musical.A good prod but doesn't quite hit ultimate emotional truth

Also Based on the concert staging but seems a little lacklustre as a full p... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Resonant

See it if You enjoy Sondheim's writing, are looking for a moving and artistic experience.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy thought-provoking musicals.

Ambitious, Enchanting, Must see

See it if you love Sondheim/you weren't sure why SITPWG has received so much acclaim/you want to see Jake Gyllenhaal surprise the heck out of you

Don't see it if Sondheim is not your cup of tea/you don't like experimental structure

Enchanting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you love Sondheim and are looking for an intelligent show with excellent performances.

Don't see it if you're not a fan on Sondheim. This is one of his sleepier scores.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if you enjoy retellings of classics that focus on the story rather than the spectacle; you want to see two captivating actors play iconic roles

Don't see it if you don't enjoy Sondheim (even if you don't, this production is probably worth making an exception)

Intelligent, Masterful, Quirky, Great writing, Slow

See it if you are a Sondheim fan, or want to see some big names in a broadway show - a great revival of this understated show

Don't see it if the very thought of Sondheim turns you off - this won't be the one to change your mind.

Delightful, Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You want to see a new and refreshing production of a classic. The rendering of the Chromolume is priceless.

Don't see it if You are still stuck in the past and you think that the original production can't be " updated ".

Great acting, Must see, Riveting, Definitive

See it if Annaleigh Ashford. A beautifully rendered Chromolume (which has never ever been said before), wonderfully openminded casting, the singing.

Don't see it if Jake Gyllenhaal's underwhelming vocals are a deal breaker, for a traditional love story, don't like the music, want the visual art evolution

Disappointing, Dull

See it if you like JakeG & multi-gen themes (Act 1 Seurat; Act II Seurat's grandson) - an artist's struggle to create what he must vs what will sell.

Don't see it if I hate that I hated this, but I hated it. The music cleverly reflects Seurat's staccato painting style, but my ear craved melody & variation

Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Slow, Over-hyped

See it if you never saw the original. The beautiful music's still there, albeit w/new nuances created by new cast. BUT, no comparison to the original.

Don't see it if you loved the original. Some shows should never be re-touched or tweaked. This is one of those. If it ain't broke, why mess with perfection?

Absorbing, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you love a passionate, exciting, well-staged revival of an excellent Sondheim musical

Don't see it if You are not a Sondheim fan

Epic, Masterful, Profound, Relevant, Great singing

See it if You love this piece of Sondheim. You love art. You love Jake Gyllenhaal and/or Annaleigh. Enjoy minimal set that lets the work shine

Don't see it if You don't like Sondheim. You want a realistic book. You want a show with big sets and big choreography. You don't like art.

Absorbing, Clever, Exquisite, Masterful, Dated

See it if you like Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford, Stephen Sondheim, classic artwork, and cleverly crafted lyrics

Don't see it if you're not a fan of classic musicals, don't care about paintings and artwork, young actors overzealously pretending to be old people

Delightful, Entertaining, Wonderful music

See it if for Jake and an enchanting night out with Stephen Sondheim music

Don't see it if expect resonating voices

Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like classic Stephen Sondheim and great singing

Don't see it if You expect booming vocals and exciting exchanges.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Masterful, Profound

See it if Pitch perfect revival with powerhouse leads in Ashford and Gyllenhaal imaginatively directed by Sarna Lapine

Don't see it if Sadly has ended its limited run - wish it had a slightly larger orchestra

Beautiful, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Great singing

See it if you love the original, Sondheim's work, and are looking to see a beautiful revival of a staggering musical theater piece

Don't see it if you like shows with big dance numbers or lavish sets - the stage is usually pretty bare

Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Intense

See it if you enjoy Sondheim at all. Or some masterful acting from both leads.

Don't see it if you need a lot of scenery. The set is minimalist which works beautifully.

Enchanting, Exquisite, Masterful, Resonant

See it if you like seeing shows with depth. Sondheim's music is gorgeous, as is the story the book tells.

Don't see it if you don't like slower paced musicals or if you're looking for a feel-good night of entertainment.

Cast & Creatives (33)