Wednesday, May 14, 2014

'Sunday in the Park' connects with audiences

Have you ever had a bright, bold new idea that no one else at the office understood or embraced? Have you ever had to make a difficult choice between two important things – or people – in your life?

Have you ever felt like your creative energy was at a low ebb, or that you can’t find a new voice or vision in your work? Have you ever felt like you don’t live up to the standards of your ancestors who went before you? 

If you’ve experienced at least one of these feelings – and who among us hasn’t? – you’ll find something to connect deeply with in EPAC’s production of “Sunday in the Park with George,” playing now through Saturday at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre.

The musical presents a version of what composer Stephen Sondheim and writer (and Franklin & Marshall College alumnus) James Lapine imagined artist Georges Seurat’s life might have been like – along with the lives of the characters in his paintings, and those of Seurat’s descendants, if he’d had any.

The show also explores how Seurat rebelled against the French art establishment by using pointillist techniques – replacing the Impressionists’ brush strokes with dots of pure color arranged in such a way that the human eye would “combine” the dots to see blended colors and shimmering light in his painting. The show is also about the heart-rending sacrifices an artist must sometimes make in his personal life.

And the musical is about Seurat’s (fictional) artist great-grandson in America, also named George, who has lost his unique vision amid his mad scramble to woo patrons and attract commissions. 

Sondheim’s music is glorious, and Lapine’s book is emotional and thought-provoking. Many audience members have regretted leaving their Kleenex at home!
And EPAC has pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable production of a wonderful musical. You’ll be delighted with the show’s creative vision, the acting, the singing, the musicianship, the set and the costumes. Kudos to the cast, crew, creative team and musicians who have been “Putting it Together” for weeks, to the delight of audiences and critics.

The show only runs through this Saturday, May 17th. You do NOT want to miss your chance to see this show that EPAC audiences will be talking about for years.

Thanks to EPAC’s season sponsor, BlueRidge Communications, and “Sunday’s” show co-sponsors, Lily’s on Main and SugarArts at Donecker's. When you patronize these sponsors, or run into their employees, please give them a huge "THANK YOU!!" for supporting “theater that matters” at Ephrata Performing Arts Center.

Order your tickets to “Sunday in the Park …” online, or call the box office at (717) 733-7966.

-       -- Merv Wright