Though Jake Gyllenhaal is no stranger to Broadway, so far his musical theater performances haven’t really been available to the wider public. He’s starred in concert versions of Little Shop Of Horrors and Sunday In The Park With George, both of which earned him solid reviews, but were only available to watch in bootleg form. Now we finally have an official clip of Gyllenhaal belting his heart out, and it turns out he’s pretty damn good.
The video comes from Gyllenhaal’s upcoming limited run in Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday In The Park With George, where he will reprise the role of 19th-century painter Georges Seurat, which he previously played in the concert version. Rather than just record a rehearsal, the video was specifically staged and filmed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga. It starts with Gyllenhaal standing in the catwalks of the newly renovated Hudson Theater and follows him down a long series of steps all the way to the stage, where the orchestra is seated. Gyllenhaal posted the video to Facebook, noting, “This is what happens when Riva Marker (the badass president of NineStories) and I invite Cary Joji Fukunaga to rehearsals for our new Broadway musical. Check out this video we made! #SundayintheParkWithGeorge.”
As he wanders through the theater, Gyllenhaal sings “Finishing The Hat,” which is one of the more famous numbers from show, not to mention the Sondheim catalog as a whole. It’s a tricky song to nail in any circumstance, but especially while navigating a steep set of stairs. The performance speaks well of Gyllenhaal’s comfort with the live musical theater format. Gyllenhaal will be joined in the production by Broadway vet Annaleigh Ashford (Masters Of Sex), who also starred in the concert version. Don’t expect either to be nominated for a Tony Award, however, as producers announced they won’t be submitting the show for awards consideration. Sunday In The Park begins previews on February 11 and officially opens February 23, where it will run until April 23.