Inspired by Georges Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical celebrates the art of creation and the creation of art.
In the first half of the musical, set in 1884, the people – and the animals – in the painting come to life in a world where, for the artist George, art comes before love, before everything.
In the second half, a century later, Seurat’s great-grandson is wrestling with the same obsessions in present-day New York.
Sunday in the Park with George was premiered on Broadway in May 1984, in a production directed by James Lapine. An earlier, incomplete version had been performed Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in July 1983. The musical went on to win the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The first London production opened at the National Theatre in March 1990. It won the 1991 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
‘The first truly modernist work of musical theatre that Broadway has ever produced’
— New York Times
‘Penetrates the mystery of artistic creation… overpoweringly affecting… what a show this is… irresistible’
— Daily Telegraph
‘This is great musical theatre’
— Sunday Times
Olivier Award for Best New Musical
Pulitzer Prize for Drama