BEST STAGE PRODUCTION - 2003
Sunday in the Park with George @ Theater Latte Da
1614 Harmon Place
Lakeland, MN 55043
Local Stephen Sondheim fans have had a pretty good run over the past five years or so. John Miller-Stephany directed winning productions of Sweeney Todd and the rarely performed Merrily We Roll Along for the Guthrie, and earlier this year Theater Latté Da took over the Loring Playhouse for a soaring rendition of Sunday in the Park with George, Sondheim's triumphant meditation on French painter Georges Seurat, art and commerce, art and inspiration, and, well, Stephen Sondheim. The production wasn't flawless: Sweet-voiced lead actor Rodney Coe was less effective in Act Two than in the awesome first act, and the orchestrations were occasionally thin. But under Peter Rothstein's direction, the play was so visually striking (the gradually developing reproduction of Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" was a joy to watch), and so wonderfully sung (especially by Ann Michaels), that all complaints were forced to cry uncle to the engulfing, impossibly beautiful melodies.