Thoughts: One of Stephen Sondheim's signatures is repetition, which makes this play enjoyable to listen to, but difficult to read. The stage directions in this play are also highly technical and staging is dependent on large pieces of scenery and cutouts featuring different parts of the painting. The use of repetition and arpeggio are especially effective at demonstrating one of the central themes of the play: that art is often monotonous and isolating.
Again, it is interesting that this is Stephen Sondheim's only Pulitzer; as much of it involves a character who is decidedly not American, and the bulk of the play takes place in France. Only in the second act is America mentioned (1984 George is from New Jersey).
|A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. Wikipedia, courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.|