"Sunday," Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim: Never has a song captured me on so many levels and left me with goosebumps every time I hear it. Sunday in the Park with George is one of the first shows I ever saw on Broadway, and "Sunday" finishes Act I by bringing together all the characters we've met as individual people as they stand and relocate and adjust as a growing ensemble and ultimately form a living, singing, haunting, as-close-as-humanly-possible re-creation of Georges Seurat's defining painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The score of the entire show is peppered with quick little notes that evoke the peppered-dot painting style of Pointillism, and the dreamy lyrics meander through the endless combinations of colors Pointillist painters used to create light and shade and depth and movement in their work. And the last sung lyrics--"... on an ordinary Sunday!"--stand in gloriously stark contrast to the shimmering, fortissimo, every-possible-note chording in the orchestra that is powerfully, thrillingly anything but normal.
Ah, this took me back to his 80th birthday concern at Lincoln Center. After a few people began singing this glorious number from the front of the room, we suddenly were surrounded by seemingly hundreds of singers joining in from every aisle and entrance along with the stage being filled.
When they collectively gave voice to "on an ordinary SUNDAY" I swear the walls shook or perhaps it was just my friend and I as we immediately began heaving tears. A night I will never forget.
The oh-so-handome Mr. Gyllenhaal will be reprising his George next summer in London. Having seen him twice on Broadway, he is well worth a Trip over the pond.
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