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- Sunday in the Park with George
The Menier Chocolate Factory’s intimate, but multi award winning production of Steven Sondheim’s, Sunday In The Park With George, (image design by Knifedge) was quickly transferred to London’s West End, New York’s Broadway and most recently Seattle, Washington’s, 5th Avenue Theatre. Further openings of this captivating and technically brilliant production are expected.
This musical story, based around Georges Seurat’s emotional daily life, his famous painting of an ordinary Sunday on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Paris, and; importantly his development of a then unique, pixel style of painting, by building a vast canvas image, dot by dot. (Such techniques are now common in printing, large photo reproduction and of course video display)
From the very first note, a dot of the famous image appears on the set. Throughout the performance’s initial act, the picture grows and builds in perfect harmony with the daily life of those portrayed. Pin-point projections of individual characters appear on smaller artiste canvasses placed on the stage. A first act finalé results in a depth enhanced ensemble of cast and projections.
In the second act, we are brought forward to the time of the grandchildren of Seurat. The stage expands before the audience’s eyes, as the projected stifling studio of Seurat’s period Paris home, digitally grows into the vast modernistic space of Chicago’s Institute of Art. Now portrayed in the 1980’s, further experimentation with imagery and a groundbreaking Chromalume Film interpretation of the original canvas is now seen alongside the original masterpiece. This intimates the progress of both art and the Seurat family. At times, for some characters; these changes are exhilarating, unbalancing and yet inevitable.
An outstanding scene in the production takes place at the after show party following the above viewing. Invited live and projected guests, variously freeze, multiply, and converse. Live characters fill the champagne flutes of the projected cast. Both the projected and live company intertwine and mingle believably in a multi dimensional space.
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