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Sunday in the Park with George: FAC performs musical masterpiece about painter Seurat

COLORADO SPRINGS (Jan. 2, 2008) – In the past 50 years, there have only been three musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama: A Chorus Line, Rent and Sunday in the Park with George. The Fine Arts Center Theatre Company will present Sunday in the Park with George, Jan. 25-Feb. 17, 2008 in the Theatre.

Written and scored by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Sunday in the Park is a moving study of the enigmatic painter Georges Seurat that won a Pulitzer Prize for its insightful and personal examination of life through art and the artist. Act one follows Seurat as he fights a losing battle to maintain a relationship with his mistress, Dot, as he creates his painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, amid the scorn of the artistic community. The second act takes place 100 years later, introducing us to his American descendant, also an artist, burned out and uncertain of the path he must take.

The show was specifically chosen to correspond with the FAC’s special exhibition, Impressionist and Modern Masters, on exhibit through March 9. Much of the second act is set at an art exhibition opening in a museum.

“What better piece to do at an arts center that recently completed a $30 million renovation and who is currently exhibiting one of the country finest exhibitions of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art?” asks Alan Osburn, Producing Artistic Director of the FAC Theatre Company. Osburn, who directed last season’s Into the Woods – another Sondheim/Lapine collaboration – is directing Sunday in the Park.

The scenic designer will feature the artistry of Brian Jude Beacom, who will recreate Seurat’s paintings: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and Bathing at Asnieres, along with painting over a dozen life-size, two-dimensional cut outs of various people and animals found in the La Grande Jatte painting. Seurat painted La Grande Jatte in two years; Beacom will have four weeks.

The show stars Brian R. Hutchinson as George and Carmen Mock as Dot. Hutchinson earned the 2006 Denver Henry Award from the Denver Theatre Guild for “Best Actor in a Musical” for his work in Assassins (yet another Sondheim-penned work) as John Wilkes Booth at the Aurora Fox Theatre. Hutchinson was a finalist for the 2006 Denver Post Ovation Award for “Best Year by an Actor,” highlighted by his role in Cabaret.