On Friday, Apr. 14, I made my way to the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts to attend Sunday in the Park with George, the final production in Villanova Theatre’s 2022-2023 season. I entered the show with high hopes and left with high praises.
Certainly a striking way to end the 2023 season, this critically acclaimed musical was created by esteemed musical theater composer, Stephen Sondheim, whose repertoire includes the (in)famous Sweeney Todd, and James Lapine. A powerhouse pair, after Sunday in the Park with George, the duo went on to create Into The Woods, another beloved musical.
Sunday in the Park with George brings French painter Georges Seurat’s paintings, including his famous pointillist painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, to life, with some creative liberties, of course. The musical follows two Georges, one posed to be Georges Seurat himself and the other a modern artist inspired by Seurat, juxtaposed by their counterparts, Dot, Seurat’s mistress and model, and Marie, modern George’s grandmother.
Sunday in the Park with George grapples with legacy and with human connection, with getting swept up in creating something beautiful without stopping to look at the real beauty around us, and Villanova Theatre’s production brought this world of art to life with excellent casting, musical performance, and set design, which transforms the stage into Seurat’s world of dots, light, and color.
The performers in Villanova’s production were lively and engaging with stellar vocal performances. Ryan Skerchak (as George) gave a frustratingly accurate portrayal of a preoccupied artist wrapped up in his own world, and Taylor Molt (as Dot/Marie) gave an endearing and compelling portrayal of falling in love with someone who refuses to be swept away with it (and an absolutely hilarious yet heartwarming portrayal of an old woman). The entirety of the cast truly brought Seurat’s art and Sondheim and Lapine’s vision to life.
For more on Villanova Theatre’s production of Sunday in the Park with George, including the amazing cast and crew, check out the virtual playbill here.
Want to hear from the Dramaturg, Sloan Elle Garner? Check out the production’s Dramaturgy website here for a glimpse into her vision and inspiration, the show’s production and behind-the-scenes content, content information (including a glossary), and more.
If you’re looking for something fun to do on campus this weekend, I would highly recommend seeing Sunday in the Park with George for its closing weekend. If you’re in the mood for a post-show drink (for those of-age) and an interesting discussion with the Sloan Elle Garner, you can attend the Apr. 21 show and stay for the post-show Drinks with the Dramaturg. Tickets are available here.
Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.