Thursday, February 23, 2017

You make it beautiful

Tonight marks the official opening of the Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George. Some just released photos showcase the stunning production and its cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford and Penny Fuller.

The response from preview audiences has been as enthusiastic as the concert reaction in October. We'll post the official reviews as they come in tomorrow night.

Break a leg, all!

An early review:

"Jake Gyllenhaal is divine! Sublime! Amazing! Transporting!" -Bobbyanna

"Sunday in the Park - with #JakeGyllenhaal and #AnnaleighAshford is sublime beyond words. Don't miss it." -Barbara Hoffman, Arts Editor, NY Post, @BHoffman_NYPost

#JakeGyllenhaal in @SundayBroadway is A+ throughout but man he's especially stunning in "Beautiful" with Penny Fuller. 😢🙌 -@PaulWontorek, Founding and Editor-in-Chief of @Broadwaycom

Edited review round-up courtesy of

Ben Brantley, The New York Times, (A) Living Painting to Make You See: He is a thorny soul, a man neither happy nor particularly kind, and not someone you'd be likely to befriend. But when the 19th-century French painter Georges Seurat, reincarnated in the solitary flesh by a laser-focused Jake Gyllenhaal, demands that you look at the world as he does, it's impossible not to fall in love. Or something deeper than love - closer to religious gratitude - is the sentiment you may experience in the finale that concludes the first act of the marvelous revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Sunday in the Park With George," which opened on Thursday night at the newly restored Hudson Theater.

David Cote, Time Out NY, Jake Gyllenhaal is amazing in Sunday in the Park with George: As far as human effects, you will be suitably swept away by Gyllenhaal's passionately acted, exquisitely articulated George, the most psychologically cohesive and sympathetic rendition I've witnessed live. (Mandy Patinkin on video will always remain the gold standard.) Comical and tender by turns, Ashford provides the flashes of light where Gyllenhaal turns inward to shadow.

Marilyn Stasio, Variety: A concert staging at City Center last fall of Stephen Sondheim's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Sunday in the Park With George" went swimmingly, with Jake Gyllenhaal in the titular role of Georges Seurat, raising hopes for an extended engagement. The theater gods heard, and the re-mounted show is back for a commercial run in one of Broadway's historic jewels, the newly restored Hudson Theater. Under the direction of Sarna Lapine, the staging is more theatrically structured than it was at City Center, with its stools and lecterns. But even as retooled, the show retains the quality of serene simplicity that heightens the poignant beauty of the score. Gyllenhaal returns in the leading role, his acting chops intact, but his voice refreshed and enhanced by what must have been professional coaching.

Jeremy Gerard, Deadline: Nevertheless, their names will not soon disappear from the thoughts of Tony voters come spring, for what was clear when the show was presented last October is more so today: This is a spectacular revival and the principals are simply breathtakingly good. The performances are assured - indeed, they've only grown in confidence. Moreover, the semi-staging by Lapine's niece, Sarna Lapine, with musical staging by Ann Yee, reveals (as if we needed reminding), one of the most beautiful, moving and endlessly inventive scores ever written, not to mention the equally ambitious and rewarding book that frames it.

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: The creation of harmony out of disharmony and coherence out of chaos are among the themes of Sunday in the Park With George. However, in fortifying for Broadway what was already a probing interpretation of this complex 1984 musical diptych by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, first seen in a New York City Center concert staging last fall, the production has elevated an affecting work into something quite rare and exquisite. Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford bring richer shadings and startling emotional candor to their dual roles, supported by a gifted ensemble that embodies the notion of great art being born out of multiple influences nourishing a unique vision.

Matt Windman, amNY: This revival (directed by Sarna Lapine, niece of James Lapine) originated as a concert staging at City Center. With the exception of an elaborate light sculpture sequence, it is a simple presentation that lacks the visual thrills of the original production or the 2008 Broadway revival. However, storytelling is focused and the score (played by a full orchestra) sounds as glorious as ever. Compared with other actors who have played the role, Gyllenhaal's Georges is sensitive, wounded and even sympathetic.

Joe Dziemianowicz, The New York Daily News: Jake Gyllenhaal's got it, by George! A handsome, nimble singing voice to go with his solid acting chops, that is. It's all on exhibition in Broadway's wonderful revival of "Sunday in the Park with George" at the newly renovated Hudson Theatre. This Pulitzer-winning musical by composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and book writer James Lapine premiered 33 years ago. Its power to stir the heart and head with its radiant score and unfading story about the art of making art - and love - is as strong as ever.

Allison Adato, Entertainment Weekly: But one need not know Seurat to enjoy this enchanting production. Jake Gyllenhaal, bearded and intense with a rich singing voice, makes the character understood immediately: He is an artist blinded to life's joys by his own work ethic, even as he spends his days observing other people at their leisure. (George is not a total prig, however, and Gyllenhaal lets loose with some silly business singing the voices of two dogs in the painting.) By contrast, the pointillist's model and lover, the aptly named Dot, played with an endearing blend of comic sparkle and pathos by Annaleigh Ashford, wants the simple pleasures of going to the Follies and eating cream puffs. But she cannot pull George from his studio, and - practical girl that she is - may take up with the baker who keeps her in dough.

Nicole Serratore, The Stage: Jake Gyllenhaal has proven in plays, on and off Broadway (Constellations, If There is I Haven't Found It Yet), that he is an adroit stage actor. In his Broadway musical debut in Sunday in the Park with George, he demonstrates he can sing a notoriously challenging Sondheim score very well too. Gyllenhaal plays George Seurat, the artist too obsessed with his work to hold onto love. Annaleigh Ashford is Dot, his adoring model. She's full of comedic verve and is shattered by Dot's disappointments. Gyllenhaal's performance is one of quiet brooding and delicate anguish. He gives an achingly beautiful, self-reflective rendition of Finishing the Hat. His voice does not have the depth of some but he elucidates George's pain in his performance.

Jesse Green, Vulture: Sunday in the Park with George, which opens tonight in a bare-bones but beautiful-enough Broadway revival starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, is both a deconstruction and an example of that duality. A deconstruction because Lapine's book, among the brainiest ever written for a musical, works innumerable trenchant variations on the theme of sacrifice for art. The show is also a demonstration of that theme, because Sondheim's songs are so profound that they feel, even while unspooling in unbroken threads of human longing, as if they had left the realm of lived experience and entered a Keatsian plane of absolute truth-beauty far above our own. The lyrics constantly delight the ear while also dramatizing, in that very delight, the way art both exalts and erases. "Rapturous" and "capture us" are like the jaws of a trap snapping shut.

Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Broadway Triumph: Gyllenhaal is excellent; his voice soulful and scarred, so lost in his work and himself he barely looks up. His first act tour de force is to play at being a dog, leaping around on all fours, panting, for “The Day Off,” kvetching about being “stuck all week on a lady's lap/nothing to do but yawn and nap./Can you blame me if I yap?/There’s only so much attention a dog can take.”

In this terrific production—by which I mean everything and everyone involved it is terrific—Georges’s phrase “finishing the hat” not only encapsulates all of what an artist seeks for in his or her pursuits, Sondheim himself later used his own phrase in two volumes of work interrogating all of these questions, and it used most piercingly here, with Seurat himself wielding his paint-brush and training his eye. The set design is as simple as an artist’s studio: a piece of cloth, stretching across the back of a stage, acts as both canvas in gestation and completion. There are, as in other productions, delightful cutouts of dogs.

Linda Winer, Newsday, Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford are transcendent: Every once in a rare while, the theater rewards us with a kind of transcendent experience, a feeling that this, surely, will never happen again - at least not remotely in the same way. My once-in-a-lifetime theory is being crushed - exquisitely, rapturously - right now as Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford step up alongside Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters in the treasured place where I keep memories of the original "Sunday in the Park With George." They are that good.

But the movie star also can sing. In two of musical theater’s most exacting roles, he brings a pungent lyric tenor, elegant taste and a purity of tone as precise as the points of color in Seurat’s vast pointillist painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte,” which we watch him create. Oh, and he yaps both sides of a conversation between dogs.

Steven Suskin, Huffington Post: Gyllenhaal is very good; so good, in fact, that we needn't say "very good for a movie actor." George-James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's musicalized version of the pointillist painter Georges Seurat-is an introverted and anti-social fellow, who seems to only find comfort when he is at canvas or sketchpad. Gyllenhaal, while properly self-absorbedly as he perennially tries to "finish the hat," gives George an inner gleam of vulnerability and sensitivity which is sometimes overlooked in the role. (Hidden in the script is the comment that the women "all wanted him and hated him at the same time.") Gyllenhaal shows us this inner layer, which has not always been visible in past productions, and properly carries it over to the 20th century George in Chicago.

Peter Marks, Washington Post: Can he? Why, yes, he can.

Sing Sondheim, that is! Sure enough, Jake Gyllenhaal pulls another exemplary credential out of his expanding portfolio, investing brooding magnetism into the role of a misunderstood master of French Impressionism in the new Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Sunday in the Park With George.”

In a springtime of illustrious leading ladies on Broadway — Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!,” Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole in “War Paint,” Glenn Close in “Sunset Boulevard,” among others — Gyllenhaal adds vital, measurable wattage on the masculine half of the musical ledger. Ben Platt of “Dear Evan Hansen” and Josh Groban of “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” have earned popularity, too, in other spheres and are front-runners for Tony nominations. But Gyllenhaal is the only bona fide male movie star doing the acting-and-singing thing on the theater world’s biggest platform this season (even as the producers of “Sunday in the Park,” with its limited run, opted to take the show out of the Tony running).

And here, playing opposite Annaleigh Ashford in an extraordinarily well-cast revival that had its official opening Thursday night at the Hudson Theatre, Gyllenhaal cements the impression of legitimate vocalist he made in a shorter-lived stage outing, as Seymour in a 2015 concert version of “Little Shop of Horrors” for City Center’s Encores! series. Gyllenhaal and Ashford create the kind of lust-driven connection that just may rise above the memorable heat generated by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters in the original 1984 production, for which Sondheim and Lapine won the Pulitzer Prize. ...

Chiefly through Gyllenhaal's performance - at once intense and emotionally transparent - this version makes clearer than ever the incisive emotional channel from Act 1 to Act 2. In each half of the musical, too, there is a visual coup, in the form of an example of each artist's work. At the end of Act 1, it's the thrilling tableau of Seurat's painting come to life. And in Act 2, it's a demonstration of the artist's experiments with color and light in the form of a laser display that he calls a "chromolume."

Christopher Kelly, For the newest Broadway revival, though, we get not just humanity and warmth, but intimacy, tenderness, bursts of humor, and flashes of tremendous beauty -- we get, in effect, as accomplished a production of "Sunday in the Park with George" as we are likely to ever see. Headlined by a very impressive Jake Gyllenhaal (yes, he really can sing), and an altogether stupendous Annaleigh Ashford, what could be a mere exercise in coy postmodernism becomes something moving and true.

Diane Snyder, Telegraph: Gyllenhaal and Ashford harmonize not only when they're singing - Move On is a heart-tugging highlight - but also when George and Dot just gaze lovingly yet uncomprehendingly at each other. (It's a shame they won't be eligible for Tony Awards; the short run prompted producers not to invite voters.) But it's Sunday, the signature song that closes both acts, that brings down the house as the ensemble re-creates Seurat's painting.

Tyler Coates, Esquire: It's easy to understand why Dot loves Seurat, especially when he's played by the handsome Gyllenhaal, who has quietly revealed himself to be a musical theater nerd with acclaimed performances in staged concert versions of Sunday in the Park last year and Little Shop of Horrors in 2015. Gyllenhaal brings a subtle intensity to his performance, particularly in his rendition of "Finishing the Hat," arguably Sondheim's most brilliant piece of music, and the most emblematic of this musical and of the creative struggle as a whole: Sondheim described the song as being about "that phenomenon of losing the world while writing (or painting or composing or doing a crossword puzzle or coming to a difficult decision that requires intense and complete concentration)."

Matthew Murray, Talkin' Broadway: An artist whose brilliance goes unheralded because of other people's inability to put him into any of their conventional boxes? Though this certainly describes the version of French Impressionist painter Georges Seurat who resides at the center of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical Sunday in the Park With George, in many ways it also applies to the star of the beautiful if low-key revival of the show that just opened at the recently renovated Hudson: Jake Gyllenhaal.

After all, this is an actor who has been a legitimate movie star for most of the 2000s to date (and who was not unknown before that), and whose screen career, in the wake of films like Southpaw and Nightcrawler, is only accelerating. But although his stage work has been acclaimed, both Off-Broadway (his debut was in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet for Roundabout in 2012) and on (Constellations, 2015), Gyllenhaal is rarely considered a "natural" rather than someone who's merely visiting.

If there's any justice, this production will change that. Those who were lucky enough to see the City Center Encores! benefit concert in October where Gyllenhaal first tackled the role know that he's thoroughly qualified for heading this 1984 musical, and as capable of doing justice to Sondheim's challenging songs as Lapine's intricate scenes. And now, in this scaled-up translation, he's even better.

He throws himself totally into Georges's obsessions and idiosyncrasies without losing grip on the gentle soul who resides beneath them. You feel the heat of his drive when he's toiling away at the painting that will become his masterwork, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," in which he's pushed to the brink of madness by his pursuit of science-inspired perfection (his style, Pointillism, involves using countless specks of paint to create colors more vivid than traditional brushstrokes can), and that's critical to unpacking Georges; "I am not hiding behind my canvas," he says at one point, "I am living in it."

But unlike every other actor I've seen play the role, Gyllenhaal projects the knowledge—or at least the suspicion—that he might be losing something when he steps into the so-called "real world." He's almost visibly pulled between his art and his model, Dot (Annaleigh Ashford), and though he's always prone to choose the former, for this Georges the choice is seldom easy. It's not that he wants to compromise, per se, but that, beneath his professional aspirations, there's a tiny ember he may also want to fan into a different, but no less intense, flame.

Gyllenhaal develops this idea to its furthest extent in the second act when he plays Georges's great-grandson, George, an inventor-sculptor in the early 1980s, and who faces many of the same roadblocks while traveling down a very different artistic road. No other actor I've encountered has made the relationship between the two clearer, despite pulling no punches in presenting Georges as impenetrably hard-edged and George as softer and more contemplative. The artist-muse story is fully satisfying, but we also see how the two generations of artist need and feed each other just as much as George and Dot did when, in Gyllenhaal's hand, the two fuse into one eternal being at the instant dedication and inspiration finally reunite. Act II, which in some circles is less admired than Act I (some people don't believe it should exist at all), has never been more essential or more moving.

Could Gyllenhaal go further still? Yes. His tone is muted early on, and takes a few scenes to even out. And although his singing is surprisingly strong throughout the rangy songs (which, as far as I can tell, are in their original keys), his vocals could be more confident during the more contemplative numbers. But he unlocks so much earnest passion in "Color and Light" and "Finishing the Hat" (as Georges) and "Putting It Together" and "Lesson #8" (as George), that any complaints are ultimately little more than Monday morning quarterbacking. In every way that counts, he couldn't be more committed. ...

With his superb portrayal of those two men, Gyllenhaal brings, as Georges aspires, "order to the whole" in a way that dispels most nitpicking. You simultaneously love and hate the men, and you embrace and reject them, but above all you understand him in a way you haven't been able to before. What's more, you want to connect these dots and others and decipher the creation as well as the creator—on as many levels as you can in the time you have. It's a marvelous accomplishment that so accentuates every color that your brain and your heart will be just as pleased as your eyes.

Time Square Chronicles, He Says: First and foremost, Jake Gyllenhaal is spectacular in the role. Once again, he is devastatingly good right from the beginning. His last go at it at Encores! had the disadvantage of the shortest possible rehearsal schedule one can imagine, and even with that going against him, his performance of this challenging role was impressive. Now, with more rehearsal and a tighter enhanced production, he has only grown more into the dense complicated role of George. Sometimes the depth of character and tone in his voice actually reminds me of Patinkin as he carries a similar richness. His precision is never more apparent than during the complex song, ‘Putting it Together’. It’s the most demanding song of the show, and he attacks it with vigor. Also, his ‘Finishing the Hat‘ is one of the most heartfelt and layered performances I have heard of that incredibly emotional song. His George has more play and gentleness than any of the other Georges I have seen, while still maintaining the tortured focused artist. It is a tremendous feat he has accomplished here, rivaling his predecessors valiantly, and sometimes even besting them. ...

In the end though, it really comes down to the final song, ‘Move On‘. And as these two musical stars showed us in ‘Color and Light’ and ‘We Do Not Belong Together’ they do in fact belong together on that stage. They both have given us quite the gift, bringing back this masterpiece to Broadway in such beautiful order, design, composition, form, symmetry, tension, balance, light, and most importantly of all, harmony.

She Says: The show has always had it’s faults. In the 1984 production, the second act just never worked and you never quite understood why Dot loved George. The same with the 2004 and 2008 version. Sondheim’s glorious lyrics and hauntingly spectacular music drew theatre lovers, because it is musical poetry. The musical language seeps into your soul, seers it and you are never the same. With Jake Gyllenhaal as George, your heart aches with his entrapment into color and light. His obsession with his work, tugs at his wanting to connect to Dot and others. He is brooding, he is magnetic and we fall like Dot, in love. Gyllenhaal vocals are impeccable. He understands musical nuances and brings such passion and longing to the role.

As Dot, Annaleigh Ashford brings humor and a flirtatious quality that makes her more human. Ashford and Gyllenhaal generate heat and intimacy so the loss of their love in the 1980’s, makes a greater impact in 2017. Now the second act has past lives colliding with their present incarnations and it is fulfilling. ...

I could see this production every night of it’s run and never tire of its beauty and effect on my soul. This is why I review theatre.

The revival is playing at the newly restored Hudson Theatre, Broadway's oldest venue. The first two beautiful photos are courtesy of Carter Thompson on Instagram:

Jake posted this on his Facebook page. I think it is also displayed in the theater - or was for opening night:

Leave it to Steven Sondheim to bring Neon back. These are his beautiful words from #SundayInTheParkWithGeorge. They lift me up every time the incredible Annaleigh Ashford sings them to me on stage. May they inspire you too.

(Drawing by Justin “Squigs” Robertson.


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Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what role Jake will be playing in The Sister Brothers?

My question too. I did not like the ending of the book. No tension or aha moment. I really hope Jake does not play the Commodore with only one scene.

Maura said...

Can you tell us a little bit about the book? The tone, the story...

Anonymous said...

"I really hope Jake does not play the Commodore with only one scene."

Jake will play one of the brothers.

EFK said...

I have not heard about "The Son." It's not on Jake's IMDb page.

As for "The Sisters Brothers" he is playing one of the brothers. Not sure which one though lol.

Okja is going to Cannes! Hope Jake will be there.

It's been very cool to read/see/hear about so many well known people going to see SITPWG.

I saw it last week and it was really fantastic. Full house, Jake was wonderful, Annaleigh was wonderful, overall excellent.

BlueJean said...

"I have not heard about "The Son." It's not on Jake's IMDb page."

It's (still) in the "Projects in Development" section - it'll be Jake's third collaboration with Denis Villeneuve. I suppose it's still going ahead and it all depends on Denis's scedule - and Jake's, of course. I haven't read anything about it in quite some time.

EFK said...

Ah thanks, Blue Jean. I remember that now. Yeah I guess they are both super busy so that might be on a back burner for now.

Anonymous said...

As for "The Sisters Brothers" he is playing one of the brothers. Not sure which one though lol.

But that is not clear - IMDB has Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly as the brothers and Variety article only says "Jake Gyllenhaal is joining Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly in “The Sisters Brothers.” but nothing about the role he is playing.

Chica said...

Happy Easter to all that celebrate!

Scott said...

Happy Easter everyone.

There are only two Sister brothers so I don't see how Jake could be one of them if Joaquin and John are playing the brothers. Maybe Jake is playing the elusive criminal that they are after? I am sure would take any part no matter how small or big to work with the director.

EFK said...

Per the AV Club website

"Jake Gyllenhaal and Joaquin Phoenix don’t look that much alike, but they do share a certain weird-eyed, haunted intensity which you could potentially confuse for a familial trait. Hence, presumably, their casting together in The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard’s upcoming adaptation of Patrick DeWitt’s 2011 slacker Western.

Gyllenhaal and Phoenix will play Eli and Charlie Sisters, a pair of assassins plying their bloody trade in the Old West. Variety doesn’t make it clear who’ll be playing who, but logic and/or typecasting suggests that Gyllenhaal will play Eli, the gentle, oral hygiene-obsessed dreamer to Phoenix’s cold-hearted killer Charlie. The two will star opposite John C. Reilly, who’s also producing, and who was responsible for acquiring the rights to DeWitt’s book."

EFK said...

Looking at IMDb again and they have it listed as

John C. Reilly Charlie Sisters
Joaquin Phoenix Eli Sisters

I don't know a lot about the book or what other character Jake would play. Not sure what info is correct or not lol.

Anonymous said...

The Sisters Brothers, written and directed by Jacques Audiard, starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed(!!). It will start shooting in May/June 2017 in Spain and will continue shooting in Romania in August 2017.


Scott said...

Cool Nightcrawler duo back, maybe they will play the bad guys which would be cool with me. Riz has been just as busy as Jake.

Real Sal said...

Has anyone read the book yet? If so, is it worth reading?

And a belated Happy Easter to all!

BlueJean said...

Riz Ahmed?! Yaaay!! :))) If it's true, that would be so cool!

Anonymous said...

The book starts good - The Sisters Brothers are hitmen and are on their way from Oregon to kill a guy in California. It is like a road movie where they meet strange people and are getting into absurd situations. For me the second half and ending is simply boring. There is no real suspense or a showdown - the whole story is making no progress.
And if Jake is not playing one of the brothers I do not know which role would be interesting or meaty unless they change it up with the script.

Anonymous said...

Wow, The Sisters Brothers will take a long time to film: May-August. It wraps just in time for Stronger (and Wildlife) promo!

For me the second half and ending is simply boring. There is no real suspense or a showdown - the whole story is making no progress.

Audiard's movies are slow-burning, stylized, with raw, simmering, often violent characters. His are more character-driven films than plot-driven (though able to deliver gut-wrenching twists). There's a fantastic scene in "Read my lips" with Cassel and Devos in a restaurant where JA builds tension and suspense with close-ups of their faces. After all, he’s the French auteur who won 5 CESARS, 2 BAFTA and 3 Cannes awards (Palme d'Or awarded by Jake's jury ;) was the icing on the cake). Working with him is a privilege, no matter the story or the part.

And if Jake is not playing one of the brothers I do not know which role would be interesting or meaty unless they change it up with the script.

We don’t know his part yet, but common sense says Jake and Joaquin will play the eponymous brothers. Jake is 36. Joaquin is 43. John is 52.
When John C. Reilly optioned the book, IMDB assumed he will play Eli Sisters (though too old, he fits Eli's physicality and sensitivity).
When Joaquin was announced, IMDB assumed he will play Eli, with John playing Charlie.
Now with John, Joaquin, and Jake - Reilly seems poised to more appropriately play their evil boss, The Commodore.

But... being a writer as well as a director, Audiard makes every story his own. For "Rust and Bone" he famously changed the gender of a protagonist, thus two unconnected stories of two men became one love story between a man and a woman (played by Marion Cotillard). He turned the male whale trainer from the short story into a fierce woman and made her injuries worse, to enhance the drama. Whatever he's planned for TSB, it's a guarantee that some characteristics will be changed, if not the characters themselves.

Basically, all of our talk about who's playing whom, based on the book, is a moot point when it comes to Audiard.

Ann said...

Riz Ahmed?! Yaaay!! :))) If it's true, that would be so cool!

Riz confirmed

Maura said...

Is Wildlife coming out this year?

Anonymous said...

Both Wiki and IMDB have it listed for 2017. More relevant, Nine Stories wikipedia page has Stronger and Wildlife listed for 2017. It will likely debut at TIFF, along with Stronger.

Anonymous said...

"Paying the Ultimate Price to Witness War’s “Humanity”

A new documentary from Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Lee Curtis captures the fearless vision of photographer Chris Hondros, who was killed in Libya in 2011.

Do whatever it takes to get the shot. That, in essence, was the motto of Chris Hondros, the war photographer who died six years ago this month while covering the Libyan civil war. He is also the subject of the new documentary, Hondros, produced by Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Lee Curtis, and premiering this week at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Appearing in this exclusive clip is Greg Campbell, the film’s director, who chronicles the life and work of his lifelong friend, who died alongside British photojournalist and Vanity Fair contributor Tim Hetherington. The two were killed in a mortar attack while documenting rebel fighters on Tripoli Street in Misurata.

Chris Hondros, throughout his 12-year career, captured both the horrors and humanity on the front lines in Liberia, Angola, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, and elsewhere. Many of his images shed light on the realities of the ordeal of civilians caught in conflict’s crossfire. Perhaps his most resonant photo captured the shock and grief of Samar Hassan, an Iraqi girl who lost her parents when patrolling U.S. soldiers opened fire on their family’s car in Tal Afar.

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, herself an accomplished photographer, believes that the lessons of Hondros are all the more significant in an age when truth is often elusive. “It’s a story of the harrowing parts of war, the beautiful stories of humanity that come from war stories, and the gruesome, cold, truthful aspects of war,” says Curtis, who launched a Kickstarter campaign in support of the film and later introduced close friend Gyllenhaal to the project, eventually enlisting him as an executive producer.

As much as the film depicts the realities of war, it is also a testament to Hondros’s character. Campbell creates an intimate, honest portrait of a man determined to not only share images of conflict that might change viewers’ attitudes, but to also help improve the plight of the very people he compassionately captured on film. “There will always be humanity amidst absolute carnage and chaos and brutality. If we don’t believe that, then we’re lost,” Curtis insists. “[The] message that comes from someone who puts [himself] on the line to tell the truth is that humanity has to win. Every time.”

Hondros premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, April 21st. For more information about Chris Hondros and his legacy, visit"

UltraViolet said...

I'll be in NYC this weekend for the final Sunday show. Not sure I can go to the movie, however. I love seeing Jake's involvement in so many different projects.

I've been mostly out of commission for a month or so, so thanks to all of you for keeping all the updates coming.

I did see Sunday in the Park again on April 9. Michelle Williams and Matilda Ledger were there. It made listening to "Children and Art" and the themes of the show even more poignant. People left them alone for the most part, thankfully.

I can't believe this chapter of Jake's professional life is ending. I do hope, as we all do, that the show has or will be preserved somehow.

Monica said...

I didn't know about this documentary. Jake's been doing so much lately, that makes me happy.

UV, you're lucky to see Michelle and Matilda there. Good to know that people left them alone.

BlueJean said...

"Michelle Williams and Matilda Ledger were there."

It made me happy and sad at the same time to read that... It's so nice to know they're still in touch.

To everyone who will (again?) be seeing Jake this weekend: ENJOY! You don't know how lucky you are! Or maybe you do ;) I'll be with you in spirit :)

Exciting news about all Jake's new projects! Thanks to all anons who post as well! :)

EFK said...

Good to see you, UV. You have been missed. :)

Awww so glad Michelle and Matilda got to see the show. I was hoping they would.

I saw it Saturday the 8th and it was wonderful. So thrilled to see so many big names have seen the show.

Someone posted a comment on Twitter or Instagram, around the 8th/9th, that Jake had been sick but still performed all shows. Hope he is feeling better.

Hondros premieres at 5pm on Friday per Tribeca schedule so hopefully Jake can make it and be at the theatre for the 8pm show.

Scott said...

It seems Hondros is more Jamie Lee's baby (and someone else) than Jake's. She seems to have taken a great deal of herself into the project. Jake is the executive producer which usually means a provider of finances. I doubt if Jake will be front and center for this project and maybe he shouldn't be.

Anonymous said...

If Jake being at the festival causes the film to get more attention, then I hope he does at least a walk through with Jamie Lee. Fortunately it's NYC so there's a chance he may.

Ann said...

Cast Recording is happening! :D

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear from UV, we all missed her.

Just as glad that she'll be seeing Sunday's last performance. It's bound to be a very special, emotional one, Jake & Co.'s goodbye to George on stage.... and hello to George on a cast album - for posterity. Also, video recorded :-)

Jake Gyllenhaal-Led SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE Will Get Cast Recording

The producers of the hit Broadway revival of New York City Center's production Sunday in the Park with George starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, announced today that the show will live on past its critically acclaimed, sold-out limited engagement, with a cast album to be released this summer by Warner Music Group.

The New York Times' Ben Brantley declared this to be "one of those shows that seems destined to be forever spoken of with misty-eyed bragging rights by anyone who sees it." Now this cast recording will allow those who couldn't see it live to hea rGyllenhaal in his Broadway musical debut, and experience this beloved Sondheim score in a new way.

The cast recording, produced and mixed by Bart Migal, will include the entire Broadway company and will be recorded later this month.

The producers also announced today that Sunday in the Park with George has recouped its entire investment in just 56 performances, making it the first show of the 2016-2017 season to do so.

The show was filmed at the matinee performance on April 19 for the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library's Theatre on Tape and Film Archive and ends its sold-out, critically acclaimed limited run this Sunday, April 23.

"To have a beloved Sondheim / Lapine musical be the one that re-opens the historic Hudson Theatre has been an absolute triumph." said Adam Speers, Executive Producer for Ambassador Theatre Group. "We're so proud that audiences have embraced it as they have, and beyond thrilled that Jake, Annaleigh and the rest of the cast's brilliant performances will be preserved on a cast recording."

Scott said...

Yay for BJ and those of us who did not get to see Jake live, we get a recording.

Scott said...

Maybe this has already been posted or you may not be interested but below is a link to George merchandise. I had no idea.

That paintbrush pen will go well with my vintage POP sticky notes. LOL

Stefanie Picard said...

Omg Sunday in the Park will release a cast album!!!

BlueJean said...

"Yay for BJ and those of us who did not get to see Jake live, we get a recording."

Yeah!!! And merchandise as well! ;)

Hagen said...

I'm happy that we'll get a recording, a very pleasant surprise!

Anonymous said...

So thrilled there's going to be a cast recording! This is such a beautiful show and Jake is really at his finest (so far:)

- Malavika

Tribeca Film Festival said...

Anonymous said...

Jake, Riva, Jamie Lee Curtis presenting "Hondros" at Tribecca Festival:

Starting off a 4 red carpet night with terrific chats with #JakeGyllenhaal and #JamieLeeCurtis about their wonderful new film #Hondros

Look it's #jakegyllenhaal

Screening starts at 5 PM, it's 93 minutes long >>> not sure Jake can stay for the following O&A and make it back to Hudson theatre in time for voice warm-up, costume, hair & all, but as always he's doing his best to promote a passion project.

"Hondros" is as much Jake's project as it's Jamie's. I actually think it was Jake the one who brought Jaime in, not viceversa. After all, he fought to convince Bold Films to finance the project since early 2016:

Bold Films CEO Talks 'Stronger,' Superhero Movie 'Samaritan' and Jake Gyllenhaal's Documentary Debut:

GMW: We’re actually doing our first documentary now and it’s through Jake Gyllenhaal. He asked us to do it and he’s very passionate about this story. Michel Litvak said we don’t do documentaries but I said we didn’t do documentaries. The film division may not do documentaries but then it begs the question, what about our digital division and what about our television division? With the healthy marketplace, the $500 thousand to $1 million market, why wouldn’t we want to place a few out there. I don’t see documentaries being a big business for us but we have now committed. We are financing our first documentary for Nine Stories, Jake’s production company, and it’s a great story about a photojournalist named Chris Hondros. His best friend was doing a documentary about him and during the course of taping of the documentary Chris got killed in Libya during the rebel wars.

Anonymous said...

More photos from Tribeca:

Executive producer #jakegyllenhaal at the premiere of Hondros, documentary about the photographer killed in Lybia in 2011.

Jake and Chris Hondros' mother

Inge Hondros, Riva, Jake

Jamie went to see "Sunday in the Park" last week:
Jamie Lee Curtis‏ @jamieleecurtis
"Children & art." Saw Sunday in the Park with George. Deep emotions, colors, harmonies & the words."So many possibilities." Talented all!

Little Shop of Horrors and Beauty and the Beast's composer Alan Menken saw it, too:
So my ex boss went to Sunday in the Park with George with Jake Gyllenhaal and he was near Alan Menkin and in front of Bo Burnham. I'm v/jelly

Anonymous said...

They filmed a teaser for the cast album announcement, and it's hilarious! I watched it on a loop: "We're recording a cast album???!!! Coming soon to an ear near you."

BlueJean said...

Thanks for posting this, anon(s?)!

Scott said...

Not sure if this means someone will broadcast it on TV.

"And this Wednesday matinee of ''Sunday'' was historic in its own way. The Lincoln Center Library's Tony-winning Theatre on Film and Tape Archive was taping this performance."

Anonymous said...

They tape every show for their archive. You can watch every show from years and years ago for free.

Scott said...

I was thinking more of a broader audience such as PBS or the Sundance channel. Not everyone is a theater geek and broadcasting over a channel could reach a broader audience. That's what I meant about broadcast.

Anonymous said...

All Broadway shows are filmed once and kept at the new york public library for viewing. Constellations was filmed but never aired on broadcast television. I realize demand for SITPWG is higher so there might be a chance but the purpose behind filming it has nothing to do with broadcasting it.

To Me You Are A Work Of Art said...

IMDB now has Jake listed as playing "Hermann Kermit Warm" in The Sisters Brothers.

Scott said...

George is over for now. Sad but very happy it was another success on Broadway for Jake G.

Stefanie Picard said...

Enjoy I'm so jealous I wanted to see it again. On a good note we get s cast album to look forward too. I hope you enjoyed..

Anonymous said...

Claybourne Elder just posted an instagram story in the studio getting ready to record the cast album.

Anonymous said...

Here's the video, the entire company is recording. At 0:12 sec. mark, it's Jake talking to Sondheim (sitting) and Lapine. Someone more skilled could make a capture.

Photo of Jake inside the recording booth (via M. Chernin instagram stories): Jake recording the cast album of #SundayInTheParkwithGeorge ❤️ (Via maxcherns)

SITPWG is the Top Broadway Musical Fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, with $382,780.

Two videos with the cast and crew finding out they raised top money (mostly by selling Jake's drawings during the show):
announcement for the supporting actors (the chorus) recording in the big room

announcement for Jake and Annaleigh, recording in the adjoining special booths

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