On Sunday, visitors at theArt Institute of Chicago received a slightly different cultural experience than they expected—a new temporary addition to the museum’s French Impressionist collection that had them scratching their heads. At the top of the Grand Staircase leading to the Impressionist Gallery, a full-sized replica of the iconic painting,A Sunday on La Grande Jatte–1884 was devoid of most of the foreground characters, leaving visitors befuddled by the strange new version. Then while they were trying to figure this oddity out, fully costumed characters from the painting emerged and sang a rousing rendition of the song “Sunday” from the musical Sunday in the Park with George, coming to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier. It was all part of a joint effort by Chicago Shakespeare Theater and The Art Institute of Chicago to create excitement for the theater’s upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical Sunday in the Park with George. The Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical opens the Theater’s season, September 26 through November 4, 2012. After hearing the actors’ thrilling musical performance, patrons witnessed them cascade down the grand staircase, out the main entrance of the Art Institute between the iconic lions and onto a Chicago Trolley which carried them up Michigan Avenue, along the City’s grand Millennium Park, to Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. Only in Chicago could these two masterpieces have engaged in conversation with one another. Inspired by the Art Institute of Chicago’s famous Georges Seurat masterpiece, Sunday in the Park with George, tells the story of a painter's struggle between creating art and living life. The Chicago Shakespeare production is staged by Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin (The Color Purple, Follies) and features Jason Danieley as Georges/George and Carmen Cusackas Dot/Marie.
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