at 3Below Theaters
288 S Second St, San Jose, CA
288 S Second St, San Jose, CA

SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE

11/19/2022 – 12/18/2022

Previews 11/17 & 11/18

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine
Orchestrations by Michael Starobin

Produced and Directed by Scott Evan Guggenheim
Musical Direction by Stephen Guggenheim
Choreographed by Shannon Guggenheim

San Jose Playhouse celebrates Mr. Sondheim!

Inspired by George Seurat’s famous painting, this poetic masterpiece explores the challenges in understanding life and art. Postponed a year, due to the pandemic, we celebrate Sondheim with this new production of one of the greatest-ever works of musical theater.

Sunday In The Park With George remains one of Stephen Sondheim’s most celebrated musicals. Its stunningly original concept inhabits both Georges Seurat’s famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte and details the parallel artistic endeavours of Seurat’s great-grandson a century later.

The Pulitzer Prize–winning musical that revolutionized musical theatre

Inspired by the painting, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s stunning masterpiece merges past and present into beautiful, poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art. One of the most acclaimed musicals of our time, this moving study of the enigmatic painter won a Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for an astounding ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The second of two Sondheim pieces in our season celebrating Sondheim, Sunday In The Park With George lives on as a musical that has unanimously thrilled critics and audiences alike.

The production follows the relationship between Georges Seurat and his muse, Dot, and movingly tells of the struggle between art and passion while the painter’s vision is stunningly brought to life in front of the audience’s eyes using state-of-the-art live projection. As the story’s second act moves into the 20th century, the story focuses on the younger Seurat and his grandmother, Marie, the daughter of Georges and Dot. Seurat’s descendant – named George and also an artist – finds himself burnt out and in search of what artistic path to follow, but he finds the answer to his future in the past.

This brilliant new production brings a fresh and inventive take on the musical that has unanimously thrilled critics and audiences alike. A talented team has brought the 35-year-old musical magically into the 21st Century with breath-taking animated design and a richly intimate production. The best in singing artists at SJ Playhouse perform this challenging and heartbreaking work about our need to connect to the past, present and future. 

  • Tickets

    Admission: $25 – $55

    $55 Regular

    $50 Students, seniors, educators, and military

    $45 Youth

    $25 for Previews

    Group Discounts and Fundraising Opportunities available | Learn more

  • Showtimes

    Thursdays at 7:30pm 

    Fridays at 7:30pm

    Saturdays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm

    Sundays at 2:30

    No Saturday matinee on November 19

    No performance Thursday, November 24th at 7:30

    Post-show Talk-backs: Saturday, November 19 & Thursday December 8

  • Length

    Sunday in the Park with George is a full length musical presented in two acts

    Running time is 2 hours and 35 minutes including one 15 minute intermission

  • History

    In June 1982, Sondheim began a tentative collaboration with James Lapine, a young Off-Broadway playwright. In search of a subject, they began rifling through photographs and paintings, one of which was Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

    The 1884 painting looked like a stage set, Lapine observed, but was missing the main character. “Who?” asked Sondheim. “The artist,” said Lapine. He laid tracing paper over La Grande Jatte and drew a constellation of arrows, each one pointing to an anonymous figure on the riverbank. “Mother?” he wrote. “Mistress? Butler?” It was like an existential game of Clue, a whodunit in which the answer was Georges Seurat.

    But who was Seurat? In their research, Sondheim and Lapine were able to gather a few crumbs about the notoriously secretive painter: Seurat worked at night, kept mum unless asked about his experiments with color, and had apparently gone to great lengths to prevent his mother from learning of the existence of his mistress Madeleine Knobloch, a model who appears in Seurat’s Young Woman Powdering Herself and bore him two children (both died in infancy). “When you have a character like that,” said Sondheim, “you can fill him out in any way you want.”

  • Age Guide

    Sunday in the Park with George is recommended for guests age 10 and up

Sunday in the Park with George is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com