True Detective director Cary Joji Fukunaga followed Jake Gyllenhaal down the backstage byways of the newly renovated and updated Hudson Theatre and onto the stage, as he rehearses “Finishing The Hat,” from Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday In The Park With George. The revival, which began last fall as an Encores! concert presentation, begins its limited run Saturday at the Hudson, Broadway’s newest vintage theater, which has been updated and returned to legit use after years as an event space.
Gyllenhaal plays Georges, an artist based on Pointillist painter Georges Seurat, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. The concert performance earned rave notices for Gyllenhaal and co-star Annaleigh Ashford as his model and muse, Dot, in roles originated by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. (The second act, set a century after the 1884 beginning, features the stars as the characters’ descendants.)
“Welcome to the Hudson Theatre,” Gyllenhaal can be heard saying at the end. He plans to return to the stage in a revival of Lanford Wilson’s fiery drama Burn This, which originally was scheduled to open the Hudson but has been delayed because of the star’s film schedule.
Sunday In The Park is a co-production of Encores and the UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group, which recently acquired the Hudson.