As a 6-year-old at my first Broadway play I received from Sondheim the directions my life would take– musical theatre, art history, France– like the Jews receiving the Torah. I look back and am amazed that one play–Sunday in the Park With George–could determine so much for me.
At the center of the play: Georges Seurat, who visits the park on the island of La Grande Jatte (today called simply Ile de la Jatte) every Sunday in order to sketch the Parisians enjoying their days off, as preparation for his masterpiece, Dimanche apres-midi sur l'ile de la Grande Jatte. Sundays, you see, have a very particular feel in France: with most stores closed, it is the day for family lunches and outings to museums and the cinema in winter, and parks in the fine weather. Sundays are the days I most miss my family. Sunday is the day I most want to connect, and the day I feel the most disconnected.
But back to the play. Read more about it here, the New York Times discusses the new, more intimate interpretations of Sondheim that are currently being mounted in the States and the UK. There's a pared-down revival of Sunday on in London now and I am so there. So there, in fact, that I'm going to buy tickets as soon as I can find someone to go with me.