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Sunday in the Park with George

Members say: Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite
64 reviews
665 reviews

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.


Reviews (729)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

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


"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

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


"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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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


"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


“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

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


"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

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

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


"Gyllenhaal is a very good actor and sings surprisingly well, but neither he nor the amusing Ashford can lift the skimpy, pedestrian production to the sublime level of the two previous Broadway presentations of the show...A production needn’t be opulent, but it also shouldn’t look like something improvised in a suburban backyard. The direction by Sarna Lapine is routine, except she whiffs on the production’s big moment." 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


"A beautiful if somewhat abstract riff on creativity...No matter what one thinks of the show, it's pretty hard to find any fault with the performances, led by the uber-talented Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford...'Sunday In The Park' won't appeal to everyone. But fans will not be disappointed. Director Sarna Lapine, employing state-of-the-art projections, delivers an immaculate production combining art, science and poetry in perfect harmony." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"A mystical, magical production...The surprise is Gyllenhaal’s impressive musical debut on Broadway and the lovely timbre of his warm tenor completing the package. Ms. Ashford is, as they are wont to say, simply divine...Sensitively directed by Sarna Lapine and eliciting a misty eye more than once in this fantastical fantasy." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

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, 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, 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

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.

Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love Sondheim and this classic play. Jake Gyllenhaal\ Annaleigh Ashford are fantastic singers/actors. What an imaginative/magical play.

Don't see it if you don't like Sondheim nor want to be swept up in the creation of art and its meaning for all of us. Go anyway and be converted!

Ambitious, Enchanting, Confusing, Dated, Great singing

See it if you love Sondheim, particularly this piece.

Don't see it if you don't love Sondheim.

Clever, Resonant, Riveting, Romantic

See it if Sondheim enthusiast, ensemble vocals astonish, lighting impresses, lush scores devour you

Don't see it if wordy, no dance musicals tend to not be your thing, or you require your leading roles to have the vocal dexterity required for these roles

Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great singing

See it if you love the score or enjoy cerebral, ideas-driven musicals

Don't see it if you would find the struggling-artist plot too indulgent or you need real forward momentum

Beautiful, Intelligent

See it if you love Sondheim and want to see a masterful revival. This production is stunning. Jake and Annaleigh are completely mesmerizing.

Don't see it if dislike Sondheim. This production is all about the music and lyrics, presented flawlessly by incredible performers. Go see it if you can!

Delightful, Epic, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You can because this is worth every penny... it's a beautiful & wonderful musical for any artist or theatre lover. Revelational performances

Don't see it if FOR ANY REASON. It's brilliant for a brilliant show

Absorbing, Exquisite, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to see one of the best from Sondheim by a mellifluous cast, led by the sublime Gyllenhaal and Ashford.

Don't see it if You don't like Sondheim, revivals, minimal sets. Listen to the soundtrack to help you decide.

Absorbing, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if A stellar production. Gyllenhaal and Ashford were marvelous. I wish the production would have a longer run so I could see it again. See it!

Don't see it if You don't like Sondheim. Or if you need pop song type shows. This has layers and is a thinker. Not fluffy if that's what you prefer.

Edgy, Enchanting, Must see, Relevant, Great singing

See it if You want to hear the best Stephen Sondheim has to offer in the talented hands of Jake Gyllenhaal & Annaleigh Ashford. Ethereal experience n.

Don't see it if You hate art, musical theatre and wonderful theatre. Or, if you don't see the worth of a partially staged production.

Intelligent, Overrated, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to see Jake Gyllenhall sing beautifully or are a Seurat fan.

Don't see it if You want a musical you'll be humming later.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Riveting, Romantic, Great staging

See it if You love the music, enjoy clever set and lighting design, or just want to see an incredible, easy to follow musical.

Don't see it if Sondheim isn't your thing. But why wouldn't you like Sondheim music??

Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Great singing

See it if Outstanding minimally staged production of Sondheim/Lapine "art about making art" musical Excellent Gyllenhaal & Ashford head great ensemble

Don't see it if While still an "enlarged" Encores production does work wonders Act II's clunky-ness remains but best chromolume yet

Exquisite, Intelligent, Must see

See it if For excellent casting, singing, staging, interpretation, Sondheim at his best

Don't see it if No reason on earth to miss this production of a GREAT musical.

Enchanting, Great acting, Must see, Profound, Great singing

See it if You love the show and want to see a fresh, moving take on it from two wonderful stars.

Don't see it if You don't like heady theater, or you've never liked that second act. It still drags.

Delightful, Great acting, Charming, Great singing, Joyous

See it if you love Anna Leigh Ashford-who doesn't Jake G. is wonderful; the cast, terrific, the music beautiful. A wonderful evening

Don't see it if This would be a hard one to miss. There are a lot of good reasons this transferred from Encores to B'way.

Clever, Great acting, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you are a Sondheim fan - this production honors the original, while finding new humor and character angles. Jake G. is phenomenal.

Don't see it if you're looking for strictly traditional musical theater - this plot is creative, and the music is wonderfully edgy at times.