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re: In praise of Penny Fuller
Posted by: Budinsky 11:30 pm EDT 04/16/17
In reply to: In praise of Penny Fuller - Delvino 07:50 pm EDT 04/16/17

Is anybody else put off and/or confused by the praise that continues to be heaped on this production of SUNDAY?

As much as I enjoyed the show at City Center last year--and I enjoyed it immensely--the production at the Hudson was a complete letdown for me.

At its first iteration, I had no issue with the set design given the fact that it was Encores!-like in it spareness and certainly appropriate. At the Hudson, with virtually the same set being used, the show looked cheap. Group scenes in the first act were overcrowded and poorly (or hardly) staged. Why were there so many people on stage for the Act 1 closer--particularly Mr. and Mrs.? Their presence constituted a mockery of the book, as far as I'm concerned.

The costumes for the women in the second scene of Act 2--all of them (except for little girl Rayne) were quite unflattering floor-length gowns of varying colors which looked absurd and had the effect of annihilating any sense of character. It may not have anything to do with anything, but could somebody explain to me how that chromolume (which was fun for about two minutes and overstayed its welcome) could possibly be installed and viewed in an outdoor setting?

One of the reasons I went back to see SUNDAY again was because I was so enchanted with Gyllenhaal's and Ashford's performances. By the time they got to MOVE ON at the Hudson, I could no longer remember why I had liked them so much at City Center. Their final duet at the latter was heartbreaking. At the former, it was impossible for me to be moved by Sondheim's work as Gyllenhaal and Ashford were too busy trying to out-cry each other rather than perform the song properly.

I'll agree that Penny Fuller's rendition of BEAUTIFUL was lovely but given what surrounded it, I'd be hard-pressed to call it definitive.

I'd be interested to know if anybody else was disappointed.

FYI: Kudos isn't plural.
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