A Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Sunday in The Park with George"

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note: entire contents copyright 2004 by Larry Stark

"Sunday in The Park with George"

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by Celia Couture
Music Direction by Don Boroson

Set Design by Doug Cooper
Lighting Design by Darran Evans & Assistant Eric Jacobsen
Costume Design by Carol Antos
Sound Design by Bob Pascucci & Joy Kendall
Props Committee:
Evelyn Corsim, Charlotte Kelly, Heddie Kent, Laura LeVan, Lavinia MacLeod, Marian Pohl
Technical Director Rick Shamel
Producers:
Susie Baldwin, Sally Bull, Marlene Mandel, Sheryl Peters
Assistent Stage Manager Tom Sikina
Stage Manager Susan Tucker

Dot..................Nancy Tutunjian Berger
George............................Bill Toll
Jules/Bob Greeenberg..........Doug Desilets
The Old Woman/Blair Daniels......Kate Blair
Louise.......................Talene Monahon
Boatman.........................Doug Lethin
Yvonne/Naomi...............Maryann C. Swift
American Woman/ Photographer...Kate Mahoney
American Man/Lee Randolph........Ben Layman
Louis/Man with Bicycle.....Scott Giangrande
Louis/Man with Bicycle.........Byron Rakoff
Franz/Dennis....................Julio Gomez
The Soldier/Alex...James A. Fitzpatrick III
Nurse/Harriet Pawling............Pam Sontag
Little Girl.....................Emily Stark
Boy 1............................Mark Niman
Celeste 1......................Rachel Riehl
Celeste 2.....................Kristin Shoop
Boy 2...........................Joe Rinaldo
Frieda/Betty...............Jennifer Shotkin

ORCHESTRA
Keyboards.....Don Boroson
Violin..,....Peter Hughes
Cello....Javier Cabellero
Cello.........Kate Jensik
Reeds...Demetrius Spaneas
Reeds........David Daquil
Percussion...Len Simboski
Horn..........Ron E. Wold

13 November:
They made history again last night in Concord.
In their 85th season, The Concord Players put a twenty-member cast into the hands of award-winnng Director Celia Couture who, with Music Director Don Boroson, put all the pieces together for a production of Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday in The Park With George" that will stand as a landmark of excellence for years to come. After months of dedicated work from a gifted design-crew and technical staff (and a long heart-stopping pause before the opening curtain) the company delivered to a sell-out 250-seat opening-night audience an eloquently moving reflection on the art and legacy of George Seurat --- one that can compare with any professional company anywhere.

Everyone who polished even the smallest facet of this theatrical triumph deserves praise, but these few medals will have to stand for the rest: Set Designer Doug Cooper and Tom Sikina (at the head of a huge, hard-working crew) re-created Seurat's "Sunday Morning on The Island of The Grande Jatte" under lighting by Darren Evans and his assistant Eric Jacobsen, with the cast in the accurate costumes of Carol Antos and Her crew bringing that painting to life in three dimensions. Sound Designers Bob Pascucci and Joy Kendall saw to it that the singers and Don Boroson's eight-man Orchestra sounded natural, and every word of Sondheim's intricate lyrics could be clearly heard.

Bill Toll playing Seurat and Nancy Tutunjian Berger as his lover/model brought a moving humanity to this pair, belying the charge of "technial coldness" often levelled at the real painter's canvasses. Here the quiet passion of an artist silently sketching --- working for two years on this huge canvas, so hard he had no time for "real" life --- was the main theme of the first act. Then, switching to the 20th Century, the contemporary artist's new (yet familiar) difficulties making new art comprehensible was sketched in with equal care.

This and "Pacific Overtures" are the most difficult in Sondheim's canon --- technically as well as musically --- and for a "mere" Community Theatre even to attempt it, let alone to succeed so admirably, is astonishing. Cast members working with many other local groups jumped at the chance to work on this show --- and to work with its director. And the work of every one of them meshed into a seamlessly expressive whole.

This is a bench-mark production in a robustly glittering theatrical year, and I feel grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to experience it. This show serves eye-opening evidence of the artistic heights "mere" Community Theater can aspire to --- and attain!

Love,
===Anon.


"Sunday In The Park with George" (12 - 27 November)
THE CONCORD PLAYERS
51 Walden Street, CONCORD, MA
1 (978)369-2990


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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