Photos: See Graham Phillips and Talia Suskauer in New SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE Promo Shots

Sunday in the Park With George will run at The Axelrod Performing Arts Center March 8 through March 24.

By: Feb. 19, 2024
Photos: See Graham Phillips and Talia Suskauer in New SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE Promo Shots
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The Axelrod Performing Arts Center in collaboration with Grind Arts Company is presenting a bold new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran Eamon Foley (Broadway’s Gypsy, Assassins, Everyday Rapture) and starring TV and film star Graham Phillips (CBS’s The Good Wife, CW’s Riverdale) and Broadway’s Talia Suskauer (Wicked’s Elphaba).

Get a first look at photos of Phillips, Suskauer, and Foley below! 

As a nine year old in the revival cast of Gypsy (with Bernadette Peters), Eamon Foley first encountered the score to Sunday. “We’d watch the live recording religiously, and I was enraptured by how the score sounded like color swirling around you.” Foley’s inspiration for this production slowly evolved over the years. “I’d listen to the album on my commutes and dance just started pouring out of it, specifically contemporary ballet. I felt like it had this untapped potential to move, and bringing the colors to life as dancers on pointe seemed like the perfect way to honor what I first found so thrilling about this score and also bring us closer to George.” After college he explored this concept on film, creating the dance film Color and Light, which he shared with Sondheim before his passing in 2021.

The Axelrod production is the first time a live staging of this concept will happen: six ballet dancers from the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT) join the company to bring Foley’s vision to life. “With Sondheim’s most personal and soaring score, Sunday remains the sentimental favorite of every Sondheim fan and yet it is rarely revived, due to its auspicious demands,” says Axelrod’s Executive Artistic Director, Andrew DePrisco. "We are thrilled to be partnering with Grind Arts to mount Eamon’s brilliant conceptualization of this musical, and we are certain that audiences will be awe-struck with this staging that incorporates both movement and light.”

Foley is not just choreographing dancers; he’s also choreographing lights, working with Broadway lighting designer Paul Miller (Legally Blonde, Amazing Grace). His inspiration for the visuals of the show came while attending electronic music concerts: “I’d see the choreography of moving lights and how they interacted with the music, and it reminded me of how George was trying to paint with beams of light…The goal with the light, as with the dance, is to be able to see the score take shape before you, and feel George’s passion.”

Passion is at the core of this production. “What we’re discovering with Graham and Talia is an enmeshment that transcends time. When they look at eachother, there’s this palpable past-life attraction that’s simmering underneath every interaction,” says Foley. 

In addition to Phillips and Suskauer as George and Dot, the company features Joy Hermalyn (Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof, Candide, Caroline, or Change) as the Old Lady, and Bernard Dotson (Broadway’s Chicago, Ragtime, Paradise Square). Also included in the cast are Kevin Arnold, Giuliana Augello, Anthony Cataldo, Katie Davis, Bernard Dotson, Bridget Gooley, James C. Harris, Isabel Lagana, Ella Mangano, Dylan Randazzo, and Allie Seibold. The AXCBT dancers include Giana Carroll, Alyssa Harris, Lindsay Jorgensen, Olivia Miranda, Sarah Takash and Gillian Worek.

The production team includes: associate director-choreographer Devin Richey, lighting designer Paul Miller, sound designer Ian Wehrle, projections designer Brad Peterson, scenic designer Ryan Howell, costume designer DW, puppet designer Eric Wright of Puppet Kitchen International, prop designer Susan Bloir and production stage manager Jason Brouillard. 

Music director Jacob Yates will conduct the 11-piece orchestra. 

Costumes by DW.