Seurat Sightings…


I see dead people.

Or at least it appeared to be that way last week.

Around every corner, I encountered Georges Seurat.

It all began with the Broadway musical, Sunday In The Park With George, starring the handsome and talented Jake Gyllenhaal and the amazingly versatile, Annaleigh Ashford.

The play is at the newly refurbished Hudson Theatre…wide seats and plenty of legroom…what a treat.

Sunday In The Park revolves around the french post impressionist, pointillism artist, Georges Seurat, who immerses himself in single-minded concentration while painting his masterpiece.

I had seen the original production in 1984 as my friend wrote and directed, Sunday In The Park With George and he gifted us with tickets for our wedding.

This production is quite different.

Sunday In The Park With George

Jake Gyllenhaal is very effective and his voice surprisingly strong, but Mandy Patinkin was a brooding, sensual beast on the stage and my recollection of Patinkin’s demonstrative and self-involved George did battle with Gyllenhaal’s preoccupied more sedate Seurat.

Bernadette Peter’s voice was memorable, but Annaleigh Ashford’s performance was incredible.

She is the next big thing on Broadway…I admired her quirky performance as the canine in, Sylvia and the original Lauren in, Kinky Boots.

The following day, post Broadway jaunt, I headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take in the thematic Seurat exhibit, Seurat’s Circus Sideshow.

Georges Seurat, Circus Sideshow

Seurat painted the centerpiece painting, Circus Sideshow, in 1887-88.

Honore Daumier, The Sideshow 1865-66

Anchored by a remarkable group of related works by Seurat, the presentation explores the fascination the sideshow subject held for other artists in the nineteenth century, ranging from the great caricaturist Honoré Daumier to the young Pablo Picasso.

Pablo Picasso, Fairground Stall 1900

More than 100 paintings, drawings, prints, period posters and illustrated journals, supplemented by musical instruments and an array of documentary material, provides a vivid portrayal of the fairs and traveling circuses of the day.

Georges Redon, Champ de Foire: 25, rue Fontaine 1897

Among the highlights are Fernand Pelez’s epic, Grimaces and Misery-The Saltimbanques, painted at the same time as Seurat’s, Circus Sideshow.

Fernand Pelez, Grimaces and Misery-The Saltimbanques 1888
Emile Bernard, Saltimbanques 1887

Other standouts in the exhibition include works by Lucien Pissarro, Paul Signac, Emile Bernard and Pablo Picasso.

Paul Signac, Place de Clichy 1887

Enjoy a Seurat encounter…the musical, Sunday In The Park With George and the paintings of Georges Seurat at The MET are both worth viewing.

Lucien Pissarro, At The Cafe-Concert 1888
Georges Seurat
Sunday In The Park With George 139-141 Hudson Theatre West 44th Street New York City  Through April 23rd, 2017.
Seurat’s Circus Sideshow. MET Fifth Avenue New York City. Exhibit through May 29th, 2017.


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