South Florida's largest producers of musical theater -- Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables, the Broward Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs and the Maltz Jupiter Theater -- regularly tackle large-scale musicals, with all the production challenges and big budgets those shows require. With the theaters having to spend so much money and fill so many seats, it's not surprising that Broadway-branded popular fare is what turns up most often.
Clive Cholerton, the new artistic director at Boca Raton's Caldwell Theatre company, has another idea: Give the audience a taste of a challenging musical in a concert format. He'll test the concept with the concert presentation of Stephen Sondheim's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1984 musical Sunday in the Park With George, about pointillist Georges Seurat, his creating of the famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and, a century later, the creative paralysis of Seurat's artist grandson.
The musical, Cholerton says, is his favorite one. The planned Broadway concert series "...gives us the opportunity to beta test a show and gauge its auience acceptability for a larger production, and...it allows us to present material that would otherwise be beyond our production capabilities due to the cast side or production requirements."
Wayne LeGette will play both Seurat and the 20th century George. Melissa Minyard, who appeared on Broadway and at Actors' Playhouse in Les Miserables, sings the role of Dot, Seurat's mistress. Also in the cast are Elizabeth Dimon, Laura Turnbull, Jim Ballard and Bruce Linser, some of South Florida's most talented musical theater artists.
Performances of the concert version of Sunday in the Park With Georgeare at 8 p.m. Oct. 8-10, 2 p.m. Oct. 10-11 at the Caldwell, 7901 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Tickets are $25 and $35. For information, call 1-877-245-7432 or visit the Caldwell's web site.