Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford Starred in Limited Engagement
The 2017 production of Sunday in the Park with George has now completed its limited run, to the great disappointment of the many theatregoers who didn’t have the chance to see the revelatory production during its brief stint from February to April. This highly acclaimed revival was sold-out for the good part of its run in the newly refurbished Hudson Theatre, which had been recently purchased by the Ambassador Theatre Group. The Hudson, which had served as a conference auditorium, blue movie theatre, television studio, and nightclub over the years while it changed hands throughout the twentieth century, has now returned to its original purpose as a theatrical venue, and Sunday in the Park with George was the cherry on top. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Constellations) and Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots), this revered musical has a book by James Lapine (Falsettos, Sondheim on Sondheim), music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods, A Little Night Music), and was directed by Sarna Lapine, who happens to be James Lapine’s niece. Despite wide acclaim and stellar box office, due to theatre availability and Jake Gyllenhaal’s busy film schedule, this production of Sunday in the Park with George was always set to be a strictly limited engagement. For this reason, the producers graciously exempted themselves from Tony consideration, and thus the show will not be taking part in awards season.
Over the course of the nine-week run (the show was on hiatus from March 13 to 20, 2017), Sunday in the Park with George brought in an average of 102.33% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price averaging $429.40, the average paid admission was $147.10 across the run, and the audience was filled up to an average of 99.75% of capacity. Each week was steadily better than the last, and in the final week of performances, the week ending April 23, 2017, the weekly gross was $1,278,395, representing 115.54% of the show’s gross potential. While it is almost always true that the show must go on, in this case, however, the show was unable to go on. With 1984 set to begin performances shortly at the Hudson Theatre, Sunday in the Park with George had to pick up shop. Furthermore, Jake Gyllenhaal’s schedule would not allow for a longer run. We know this because it was originally announced that Gyllenhaal would perform in the inaugural production at the newly reopened Hudson Theatre, but that it would be Lanford Wilson’s Burn This. However, due to a scheduling issue, he was unable to perform in that show, but was able to take on Sunday in the Park with George due to the strictly limited nature of the run. While it is unclear how this was an economically viable option for the producers, Sunday in the Park with George was more of a prestige run, which attracted great attention and fabulous critical and commercial response.
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