For fans of puppydog-eyed heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal, and of classic Stephen Sondheim musicals, New York City Center's upcoming concert staging of Sunday in the Park with George promises to be the theatrical event of the fall. Tickets to all three performances, on October 24 through 26, have been completely sold out for ages. But today, City Center made an announcement that will be music to the ears of those who love great music in their ears: It is adding a 2pm performance on Wednesday, October 26.
Making the news even sweeter, City Center also announced the full cast of the concert today, and it's a lulu. Sondheim and James Lapine's Pulitzer Prize–winning 1984 musical is a gorgeous group portrait in two halves: The first act depicts the painting of Georges Seurat's 1884 pointillist masterpiece "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte"; the second shows the struggles of an American artist, also named George, a century later. Gyllenhaal—who revealed surprising musical-theater chops in Little Shop of Horrors at City Center last year and will star in Broadway's Burn This in February—headlines the concert opposite Broadway it girl Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots), in the roles originated by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. Joining them will be stage queen Phylicia Rashad as George's mother, Zachary Levi (She Loves Me) and Carmen Cusack (Bright Star) as Jules and Yvonne, and Tony winners Gabriel Ebert (Matilda) and Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I) as Franz and Frieda. Rounding out the cast are some of the city's finest musical-theater performers: Brooks Ashmanskas, Phillip Boykin, Max Chernin, Claybourne Elder, Lisa Howard, Liz McCartney, Michael McElroy, Stephanie Jae Park, Solea Pfeiffer, Gabriella Pizzolo, Jaime Rosenstein and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder's Lauren Worsham.
Tickets to the added matinee of Sunday in the Park with George start at $75 and go on sale at noon tomorrow (Wednesday, October 5) on City Center's website. But there's a catch: The first day of sales is limited to City Center members. Given the demand, it's very possible there won't be a second day of sales. So if you really want to see this show, the smart move is to buy a membership to City Center tonight. That will set you back an additional $75, but it supports City Center's worthy programming, and $75 is a lot less than the markup you'd pay if you bought the same tickets through scalpers. Art isn't easy, as the great man wrote—and it isn't always cheap either. But sometimes it's worth it.