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Sunday in the Park with George to Move On to the West End in Spring

The West End will soon be spending Sunday in the Park with George. A transfer has been officially announced, with the musical to begin performances at Wyndham's Theatre on May 13th and open on May 23rd.

The London revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine classic is a current hit at the Menier Chocolate Factory. For the transfer, Jenna Russell (who currently stars in the smash West End revival of Guys and Dolls) will replace Anna Jane Casey as Dot. Daniel Evans will continue in the title role(s).

Based on the pointillist masterpiece of Georges Seurat (which currently hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago), Sunday in the Park with George tells two mirroring stories through the course of two acts. In the first, George struggles to complete "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" while his mistress and model Dot attempts to keep him emotionally connected to her. In the second, George's grandson of the same name, who creates art works called chromolumes, experiences some of the same concerns as his predecessor.

The musical, which has not been seen on the West End since 1990 (in a National Theatre production starring Maria Friedman and Philip Quast), has drawn praise in its current incarnation. Directed by Sam Buntrock, the Menier Chocolate Factory's Sunday features an abridged second act and a high-tech physical production with projections by Timothy Bird and sets by David Farley (both of who recently won the
Critics Circle's Best Design Award). Bird's animations feature characters from the Seurat painting moving around the set.

Originally directed by Lapine, Sunday in the Park with George premiered at Playwrights Horizons. Expanded from one act to two, it opened at Broadway's Booth Theatre in 1984 and ran for 604 performances. While losing the Tony Award for Best Musical, it picked up the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. Original stars Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin were also both nominated for Tonys. For the acclaimed London production, Quast won an Olivier Award and Friedman received a nomination.

Boyett Ostar, David Babani & Danielle Tarento for Chocolate Factory Productions, Caro Newling for Neal Street Productions and Mark Rubinstein will produce the musical on the West End. Cameron Mackintosh recently acquired Wyndham's Theatre.

For more on the Menier Chocolate Factory, visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com.


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