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Pretty isn't beautiful, MotherSunday in the Park with George, the landmark Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical that spans a century from George Seurat in Paris in 1884, to another artist, also named George, in New York in 1984, both Orwell's prophetic year and the one following Sunday's 1983 Broadway debut.
Pretty is what changes
What the eye arranges
Is what is beautiful.
- Stephen Sondheim, Sunday in the Park with George
A Sunday on La Grand Jette, just outside the gallery where the massive, much-loved original resides. On cue, the entire first act cast, comprised of all the major characters that appear in the painting, as well as Seurat, himself, walked past the gallery door out into the the architectural fragments gallery at the top of the staircase, and, before singing one of the climatic numbers of the musical, stopped to study for a moment some of items on display.
Art isn't easy.
Overnight you're a trend,
You're the right combination-
Then the trend's at an end,
You're suddenly last year's sensation.
Sunday in the Park with George, directed by Gary Griffin, and starring Jason Danleley and Carmen Cusack, opens September 23rd at Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater, where it runs through November 4th.