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All The Small Things
Sunday In The Park With George

by Stephen Sondheim


Sunday In The Park With George
No Life
Color And Light
The Day Off
Everybody Loves Louis
Finishing The Hat
We Do Not Belong Together

Its Hot Up Here
Putting It Together
Children and Art
Lesson #8
Move On

Act One
A Sunday in 1884. The lights come up on George- an artist- seated at an easel with a drawing pad and holding a charcoal pencil. As he speaks, the set is transformed into the park on the isle of la Grande Jatte, outside of Paris.

GEORGE: White. A blank page or canvas.
The challenge: bring order to the whole.
Through design. Composition. Tension. Balance. Light. And harmony.

George goes off and returns with Dot, his mistress and model, who wears a traditional 19th century outfit: heavy with a large bustle. Having positioned her so that he can see her profile, George sits at his easel and begins to draw.



DOT: George? Why is it you always get to sit in the shade while I have to stand in the sun? Hello, George... There is someone in this dress!

A trickle of sweat. The back of the head.
He always does this. Now the foot is dead.
Sunday in the Park With George.
One more ssssssss-

The collar is damp. Beginning to pinch.
The bustle's slipping, I won't budge one inch.
Who was at the zoo, George? Who was at the zoo?
The monkeys and who George? The monkeys and who?

GEORGE- Don't move.

DOT: Artists are bizarre. Fixed. Cold.
That's you, George- you're bizarre. Fixed. Cold.
I like that in a man. Fixed. Cold.
God, its hot up here...

Well there are worse things than staring at the water on a Sunday
There are worse things than staring at the water as you're posing for a picture being painted by your lover in the middle of the summer on an island in the river on a Sunday.

(George moves to her and arranges her dress- as if she were an object.)

DOT: The petticoat's damp... Which adds to the weight.
The sun is blinding- All right, concentrate!

GEORGE: Eyes open, please.

DOT: Sunday In The Park With George...

GEORGE: Look out at the water. Not at me.

DOT: Sunday In The Park With George...

(The dress opens up and Dot steps out of it. It closes behind her and George continues sketching as if she were still inside)

Well, if you want bread and respect and attention, not to say connection, modelling's no profession...
If you want instead, when you're dead, some more public and more permanent expression
Of affection...
You want a painter, poet, sculptor, preferably:
marble, granite, bronze. Durable.
Something nice with swans that's durable forever.
All it has to be is good.
And George, you're good...
You're really good.

George's stroke is tender, George's touch is pure.
Your eyes, George. I love your eyes, George.
I love your beard, George. I love your size, George.
But most, George, of all. But most of all, I love your painting!
I think I'm fainting...

(Dot returns to the dress)

The tip of a stay. Right under the tit.
No, don't give in... just lift the arm a bit.

GEORGE: Don't lift the arm, please.

DOT: Sunday In The Park With George!

GEORGE: The bustle high, please.

DOT: Not even a nod. As if I were trees. The ground could open, he would still say, "Please".
Never know with you, George. Who could know with you?
The others I knew, George. Before we get through, I'll get to you too.
God, I am so hot!
Well, there are worse things than staring at the water on a Sunday.
There are worse things than staring at the water as you're posing for a picture after sleeping on the ferry after getting up at seven to come over to an island in the middle of a river half an hour from the city on a Sunday... on a Sunday in the park with-

GEORGE: Don't move the mouth!

DOT: George!


A wagon bearing a kind of tableau of Suerat's first major painting, "Bathing At Asnieres" rolls into view. They all freeze and we are suddenly in an art gallery. Jules, another artist and his wife, Yvonne stroll past and lament that the painting has no life.



JULES: Ahhh...
YVONNE: Oooh...
JULES: Mmmm...
YVONNE: Oh, dear.
JULES: Oh, my.
YVONNE: Oh, my dear.
JULES: It has no presence.
YVONNE: No passion.
JULES: No life. It's neither pastoral nor lyrical.
YVONNE: You don't suppose that its satirical?
JULES: Just density without intensity...
YVONNE: No life. Boys with their clothes off-
JULES: I must paint a factory next!
YVONNE: Its so mechanical.
JULES: Methodical.
YVONNE: It might be in some dreary socialistic periodical.
JULES: Good.
YVONNE: So drab, so cold.
JULES: And so controlled.
BOTH: No life.
JULES: His touch is too deliberate, somehow.
YVONNE: The dog.
JULES: These things get hung.
JULES: And then they're gone.
YVONNE: Ahhh. Of course he's young...
YVONNE: But getting on.
JULES: Oh. All mind, no heart. No life in his art.
YVONNE: No life in his life.
BOTH: No life.

The scene shifts to George's studio. He is working behind a large canvas. In front sits Dot at a vanity powdering her face. George applies tiny specks of paint to the face of the woman in the foreground of his canvas in the same rhythm that Dot powders.



GEORGE: Order. Design. Composition. Tone. Form. Symmetry. Balance.
More red... and a little more red... Blue blue blue blue
Blue blue blue blue- even even... Good.
Bumbumbum bumbumbum bumbum bum...
More red... more blue... more beer...
More light!
Color and light. There's only color and light.
Yellow and white. Just blue and yellow and white.
Look at the air, miss... See what I mean?
No, look over there, miss... That's done with green.
Conjoined with orange...

DOT: (powdering) Nothing seems to fit me right. The less I wear, the more comfortable I feel.
More rouge... George is very special. Maybe I'm just not special enough for him.
If my legs were longer. If my bust was smaller.
If my hands were graceful. If my waist was thinner.
If my hips were flatter. If my voice was warm.
If I could concentrate...
I'd be in the Follies! I'd be in a cabaret!
Gentlemen in tall silk hats... and linen spats
would wait with flowers.
I could make them wait for hours... Giddy young aristocrats with fancy flats would drink my health and I would be as hard as nails!
And they'd only want me more!
If I was a Folly girl... Nah, I wouldn't like it much.
Married men and stupid boys and too much smoke and all that noise and all that color and light...

GEORGE: Aren't you proper today, miss? Your parasol so properly cocked, your bustle so perfectly upright.
And you, sir. Your hat so black. So black to you, perhaps. So red to me.

DOT: None of the others worked at night.

GEORGE: So composed for a Sunday!

DOT: How do you work without the right bright white light? How do you fathom George?

GEORGE: (trancelike) Red red red red red red orange
orange pick up blue pick up red pick up orange
from the blue-green blue-green blue-green circle on the violet diagonal di-ag-ag-ag-ag-ag-ag-o-nal-nal- Numnumnum numnumnum numnum num...
Blue blue blue blue blue still sitting
Red that perfume blue all night blue-green the window shut
Dut dut dut Dot Dot sitting Dot Dot waiting Dot Dot getting fat fat fat
More yellow Dot Dot waiting to go out out out no no no
George finish the hat finish the hat
Have to finish the hat first
hat hat hat hat hot hot hot its hot in here...
Color and light!

DOT: But how George looks. He could look forever.

GEORGE: There's only color and light.

DOT: As if he sees you and he doesn't all at once.

GEORGE: Purple and white...

DOT: What is he thinking when he looks like that?

GEORGE: And red and purple and white.

DOT: What does he see? Sometimes, not even blinking.

GEORGE: Look at this glade, girls- your cool blue spot.

DOT: His eyes. So dark and shiny.

GEORGE: No stay in the shade, girls. It's getting hot...

DOT: Some think cold and black.

GEORGE: It's getting orange.

DOT: But it's warm inside his eyes.

GEORGE: Hotter...

DOT: And its soft inside his eyes...
And he burns you with his eyes...

GEORGE: Look at her looking.

DOT: And you're studied like the light.

GEORGE: Forever with that mirror. What does she see?

DOT: And you look inside the eyes.

GEORGE: The pink lips, the red cheeks...

DOT: And you catch him here and there...

GEORGE: The wide eyes. Studying the round face. The tiny pout...

DOT: But he's never really there...

GEORGE: Seeing all the parts and none of the whole...

DOT: So you want him even more.

GEORGE: But the way she catches light...

DOT: And you drown inside his eyes...

GEORGE: And the color of her hair...

BOTH: I could look at her/him forever!

GEORGE: It's going well.

DOT: Should I wear my red dress or blue?


DOT: Aren't you going to clean up?


DOT: The Follies, George.

GEORGE: I have to finish the hat.

(Dot storms out. He goes back to work)

Damn. The Follies. Will she yell or stay silent? Go without me or sulk in the corner? Will she be in the bed when the hat and the grass and the parasol have finally found their way?
Too green... Do I care?
Too blue... Yes...
Too soft. What should I do?
Well... Red.

We now appear on another Sunday on La Grand Jatte where George is sketching a Boatman. The Nurse and Old Lady are sitting under their tree while two young women, both named Celeste, sit chatting.



Celeste #1: They say that George has another woman.
Celeste #2: I'm not surprised.
Celeste #1: They say that George only lives with tramps.
Celeste #2: I'm not surprised.
Celeste#1: They say he prowls through the streets in his top hat after midnight-
Celeste #2: No!
Celeste#1: And stands there staring up at the lamps.
Celeste #2: I'm not surprised...
BOTH: Artists are so crazy.
Old Lady: Those girls are noisy.
Nurse: Yes, madame.
Old Lady: (sees Jules with Yvonne) That man is famous.
Nurse: Yes, madame.
Old Lady: (sees Boatman) That man is filthy.
Nurse: Your son seems to find him interesting.
Old Lady: That man's deluded.
Celeste's: Artists are so crazy.
Old Lady, Nurse: Artists are so peculiar.
Celeste #1: Slouching!
Boatman: Overprivledged women complaining.
Silly little simpering shopgirls. Condescending artists...
"Observing", "Perceiving"- well, screw them!

ALL: Artists are so-
Celeste#2: Crazy!
Celeste #1: Secretive!
Boatman: High and mighty.
Nurse: Interesting.
Old Lady: Unfeeling.

George now concentrates on sketching the Boatman's dog. Before long, he has assumed the guise of the dog, imagining his life with the Boatman on the garbage scow.


GEORGE: If the head was smaller... If the tail were longer...If he faced the water... If the paws were hidden.
If the neck was darker... If the back was curved...
More like the parasol.
Bumbumbum bumbumbum bumbum bum.
More shade... more tail... more grass...
Would you like some more grass? Mmmmm

SPOT (GEORGE): Ruff Ruff! Thanks- the week has been rough!
When you're stuck for life on a garbage scow. Only forty feet long from stern to prow,
and a crackpot in the bow- wow- rough!
The planks are rough and the wind is rough
And the master's drunk and mean and gruff! Gruff!
With the fish and scum and planks and ballast-
The nose gets numb and the paws get calloused.
And with splinters in your ass, you look forward to the grass on Sunday! The day off... Off! Off! Off! Off!

The grass needs to be thicker. Perhaps a few weeds. And some ants, if you would. I love fresh ants.

Roaming around on Sunday, poking among the roots and rocks.
Nose to the ground on Sunday, studying all the shoes and socks.
Everything's worth it Sunday, the day off.
(sniffs around)
Bits of pastry... peice of chicken...
here's a handkerchief that somebody was sick in...
There's a thistle... that's a shallot...
That's a dripping from the loony with the palatte.

(Fifi, the pup dog appears)

FIFI (GEORGE): Yap! Yap! Yap!
Out for the day on Sunday, off of the lady's lap at last!
Yapping away on Sunday helps you forget the week just past- Yep! Yep!
Everything's worth it Sunday... The day off. Yep!
Stuck all week on a lady's lap! Nothing to do but yawn and nap. Can you blame me if I yap?

SPOT: Nope.

FIFI: There's only so much attention a dog can take!
Being alone on Sunday, rolling around in mud and dirt...

SPOT: Begging a bone on Sunday, settling for a spoiled dessert...

FIFI: Everything's worth it

SPOT: Sunday

FIFI: The day off...

SPOT: Something fuzzy.

FIFI: Something furry.

SPOT: Something pink that someone tore off in a hurry.

FIFI: What's the muddle in the middle?

SPOT: That's the puddle where the poodle did the piddle.


More people come into the park. The Nurse clucks at the ducks and Jules and Yvonne's servants, Franz and Freida set up a picnic. Two soldiers (one of whom is a cardboard cutout) patrol the area and notice the Celeste's.

GEORGE: Taking the day on Sunday, now that the dreary week is dead.
Getting away on Sunday brightens the dreary week ahead.
Everyone's on display on Sunday-

ALL- The day off!

GEORGE: (sketches Nurse) Bonnet flapping, bustle sliding- like a rocking horse that nobody's been riding.
There's a daisy and some clover...
(Nurse sees Franz)
And that interesting fellow looking over.

Old Lady: Nurse!

NURSE, GEORGE: One day is much like any other, listening to her snap and drone.

NURSE: Still, Sunday with someone's dotty mother
is better than Sunday with your own.
Mothers may drone, mothers may whine- tending to his, though is perfectly fine
It pays for the nurse that is tending to mine on Sunday, my day off.

(George sketches Jules' servants)

Frieda: You know, Franz... I beleive that artist is drawing us.

Franz: Who?

Frieda: Monsieur's friend...

Franz: Monsieur would never think to draw us! We are only people he looks down upon. (He opens a bottle of wine)

GEORGE, FRIEDA: Second bottle...

GEORGE, FRANZ: (looking at nurse) Ah, she looks for me...

FRIEDA: He is bursting to go...

FRANZ: Near the fountain...

FRIEDA: I could let him...

FRANZ: How to manage it?


Franz: (To Frieda) I should have been an artist. I was never intended for work.

Frieda: Artists work, Franz. I believe they work very hard.

FRANZ: Work! We work. We serve their food, we carve their meat,
We tend to their house... We polish their silverware.

FRIEDA: The food we serve, we also eat.

FRANZ: For them we rush, wash and brush, wipe and wax-

FRIEDA: Franz, relax.

FRANZ: While he "creates", we scrape their plates and dust their knick-knacks- hundreds to the shelf...
Work is what you do for others, Liebschen, Art is what you do for yourself.

(George sketches the Celeste's and the Soldiers)

Celeste #1: Look!

Celeste #2: Where?

Celeste #1: Soldiers!

Celeste #2: Alone!

Soldier: (To companion) What do you think? I like the one in the light hat.

SOLDIER,GEORGE: Mademoiselles, I and my friend, we are but soldiers!

SOLDIER: Passing the time, in between wars for weeks at an end.

CELESTE #1: Both of them are perfect!

CELESTE #2: You can have the other.

CELESTE #1: I don't want the other!

CELESTE #2: I don't want the other either!

SOLDIER: And after a week spent mostly indoors with nothing but soldiers,
Ladies, I and my friend trust we will not offend, which we'd never intend, by suggesting we spend-

CELESTES: Oh, Spend!

SOLDIER: -This magnificent Sunday!

CELESTES: Oh, Sunday-

SOLDIER: With you and your friend.

CELESTE #2: The one on the right's an awful bore...

CELESTE #1: He's been in a war.

SOLDIER: We may get a meal and we might get more...

CELESTES, SOLDIER: It's certainly fine for Sunday...
It's certainly fine for Sunday... Its certainly fine for Sunday...

(George sketches Boatman)

GEORGE, BOATMAN:You and me, pal... We're the loonies.
Did you know that? Bet you didn't know that.

BOATMAN: Cause we tell them the truth!
Who you drawing? Who the hell you think you're drawing? Me?
You don't know me! Go on drawing! Since you're drawing only what you want to see, anyway!
One eye, no illusion that you get with two: One for what is true. One for what suits you.
Draw your wrong conclusion, all you artists do. I see what is true...

ALL: Taking the day on Sunday after another week is dead.

Old Lady: Nurse!

ALL: Getting away on Sunday brightens the dreary week ahead!

Old Lady: Nurse!

ALL: Leaving the city pressure behind you, off the air is fresher, where green, blue, blind you-


George leaves when he sees Dot with Louis, the baker. She watches him go and extols the virtues of her new lover.


DOT: Hello, George... Where did you go, George?
I know you're near, George. I caught your eyes, George.
I want your ear, George. I've a surprise, George...
Everybody loves Louis, Louis' simple and kind.
Everybody loves Louis, Louis' lovable.
Seems we never know, do we, who we're going to find?
And Louis the baker is not what I had in mind... But...

Louis' really an artist: Louis' cakes are an art.
Louis isn't the smartest- Louis' popular.
Everybody loves Louis, Louis bakes from the heart...

The bread, George, I mean the bread, George.
And then in bed, George. I mean he kneads me-
I mean like dough, George... Hello, George!

Louis' always so pleasant, Louis' always so fair.
Louis makes you feel present, Louis' generous.
That's the thing about Louis: Louis always is "there"!
Louis' thoughts are not hard to follow.
Louis' art is not hard to swallow.

Not that Louis' perfection- that's what makes him ideal.
Hardly anything worth objection: Louis drinks a bit, Louis blinks a bit.
Louis makes a connection, that's the thing that you feel.

We lose things and then we choose things.
And there are Louis' and there are Georges-
Well, Louis'... And George...
But George has George and I need someone!

Everybody loves Louis, him as well as his cakes.
Everybody loves Louis, me included, George.
Not afraid to be gooey, Louis sells what he makes.
Everybody gets along with him...
Thats the trouble... Nothing's wrong with him.

Louis has to bake his way... George can only bake his...

(bites one of Louis' patries)

Louis it is!

At the end of the day George is alone in the park. He sits down and leafs through his sketches. Remembering Dot, he expresses regret at her departure. But art is his life.


GEORGE: (looking through sketches)
You and me, pal...
Second bottle...
Ah, she looks for me...
Bonnet flapping...

Yes, she looks for me- good.
Let her look for me to tell me why she left me-
As I always knew she would.
I had thought she understood.
They have never understood and no reason that they should.
But if anybody could...

Finishing the hat. How you have to finish the hat.
How you watch the rest of the world from a window while you finish the hat...
Mapping out the sky, what you feel like, planning a sky.
What you feel when voices that come through the window
Until they distance and die... until there's nothing but sky.

And how you're always turing back too late from the grass or the stick or the dog or the light
How the kind of woman willing to wait's not the kind that you want to find waiting
To return you to the night, dizzy from the height, coming from the hat...
Entering the world of the hat
Reaching through the world of the hat like a window...
Back to this one from that.

Studying a face, stepping back to look at a face
Leaves a little space in the way like a window...
But to see-
It's the only way to see!

And when the woman that you wanted goes you can say to yourself, "Well I give what I give."
But the woman who won't wait for you knows that, however you live,
There's a part of you always standing by,
mapping out a sky,
finishing a hat...
starting on a hat...
finishing a hat...
Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat!


People slowly return to the stage. Muttering begins as Dot enters and circles around George. She suddenly pulls her bustle around and shows everyone that she is pregnant. There is a gasp and the scene ends.

George now sits in his studio, working. Dot enters to tell him that she and Louis are going to live in America after the baby is born. George continues to work as she pours her heart out to him.


Dot: Yes, George, run to your work. Hide behind your painting. I have come to tell you I am leaving because I thought you might care to know- foolish of me, because you care about nothing.

George: I care about many things-

Dot: Things- not people.

George: People too. I cannot divide my feelings up as neatly as you, and I am not hiding behind my canvas- I am living in it.

DOT: What you care for is yourself!

George: I care for this painting. You will be in this painting.

DOT: I am something you can use.

GEORGE: I had though you understood.

DOT: It's because I understand that I left, that I am leaving.

GEORGE: Then there's nothing I can say, is there?

DOT: Yes, George, there is:
You could tell me not go. Say it to me.
Tell me not to go.
Tell me that you're hurt, tell me you're relieved.
Tell me that you're bored- anything! Just don't assume I know.
Tell me what you feel!

GEORGE: What I feel? You know exactly how I feel.
Why do you insist you must hear the words when you know I cannot give you words? Not the ones you need...
There's nothing to say. I cannot be what you want.

DOT: What do you want, George?

GEORGE: I needed you and you left.

DOT: There was no room for me.

GEORGE: You will not accept who I am. I am what I do... which you knew- which you always knew...
Which I thought you were a part of!

DOT: No, you are complete, George, you are your own
We do not belong together!
You are complete, George, You are alone.
I am unfinished, I am diminished with or without you.

We do not belong together and we should have belonged together.
What made is so right together is what made it all wrong.

No one is you, George, there we agree, but others will do, George.
No one is you and no one can be, but no one is me, George, George, no one is me!
We do not belong together and we'll never belong...

You have a mission, a mission to see
Now I have one too, George...
And we should have belonged together.
I have to move on!

Dot leaves and George stops his work. He cannot stay in the studio any longer, so he brings the Old Lady (who we now know is his mother) to the park and begins to sketch her as she stares at the horizon.


OLD LADY: Changing... It keeps changing.
I see towers where there were trees.
Going. All the stillness, the solitude, Georgie.

Sundays, disappearing all the time,
when things were beautiful...

GEORGE: All things are beautiful, mother.
All trees, all towers, beautiful.
That tower, beautiful, mother. See?
A perfect tree!

Pretty isn't beautiful, Mother, pretty is what changes.
What the eye arranges is what is beautiful.

OLD LADY: Fading...

GEORGE: I'm changing. You're changing.

OLD LADY: It keeps fading...

GEORGE: I'll draw us now before we fade, Mother.

OLD LADY: It keeps melting before our eyes.

GEORGE: You watch while I revise the world.

OLD LADY: Changing, as we sit here-
Quick, draw it all, Georgie!

BOTH: Sundays-

OLD LADY: Disappearing... as we look...

GEORGE: Look... look...

OLD LADY: You make it beautiful...
Oh, Georgie. How I long for the old view.

One by one, all of the characters congregate in the park. George refuses to look at his baby girl as Dot is preparing to leave for America. Squabbling and arguments begin erupting around the stage until it escalates into one group fight. As the music begins, the people take their positions in a peaceful promenade through the park as George rearranges trees, cutouts and figures. Finally, he steps back and freezes everyone into their final poses. His picture is complete.


OLD LADY: Remember, George!

GEORGE: Order.

ALL: Sunday by the blue purple yellow red water.
On the green purple yellow red grass.
Let us pass through our perfect part, pausing on a Sunday
By the cool blue triangular water
On the soft green elliptical grass
As we pass through arrangements of shadows
Towards the verticals of trees

GEORGE: Made of flecks of light and dark and parasols
Bumbum bum bumbumbum bumbumbum...

ALL: People strolling through the trees of a small suburban park
On an island in the river on an ordinary Sunday...



We reenter the story as the curtain rises on the painting, exactly as we left it in Act One. The harmoniously achieved serenity is at an end, however, as we hear seperately and together the complaints of the people in the painting.


DOT: It's hot up here.

YVONNE: It's hot and its monotonous.

LOUISE: I want my glasses.

FRANZ: This is not my good profile.

NURSE: Nobody can even see my profile.

CELESTE #1: I hate this dress.

CELESTE #2: The soldiers have forgotten us.

FRIEDA: The boatman schwitzes.

JULES: I am completely out of proportion.

SOLDIER: These helmets weigh a lot on us.

OLD LADY: This tree is blocking my view.

LOUISE: I can't see anything.

BOATMAN: Why are they complaining? It could have been raining.

DOT: I hate these people.

ALL: It's hot up here. A lot up here.
It's hot up here. Forever.
A lot of fun, its not up here.
It's hot up here no matter what.

There's not a breath of air up here and they're up here forever.

It's not my fault I got up here. I'll rot up here, I am so hot up here.

YVONNE: (to Louise) Darling, don't clutch mother's hand quite so tightly.
Thank you.

CELESTE #1: It's hot up here.

FRIEDA: At least you have a parasol.

SOLDIER, NURSE, YVONNE, LOUISE: Well look who's talking sitting in the shade!

JULES: (to Dot) I trust my cigar is not bothering you- unfortunately, it never goes out.

SOLDIER: (to Companion) It's good to be together again.

CELESTE #2: See, I told you there were odd.

CELESTE #1: Don't slouch.

LOUISE: He took my glasses!

YVONNE: You've been eating something sticky!

NURSE: I put on rouge today, too.

FRIEDA: (to Boatman) Don't you ever take a bath!

OLD LADY: Nurse! Hand me my fan!

NURSE: I can't.

FRANZ: At least the brat is with her mother.

LOUISE: I heard that!

JULES: (to Dot) Do you like tall grass?


YVONNE: Jules!

BOATMAN: Bunch of animals...

DOT: I hate these people.

ALL: It's hot up here and strange up here
No change up here forever.

How still it is, How odd it is
And God it is so hot!

SOLDIER: I like the one in the light hat.

DOT: Hello, George.
I do not wish to be remembered like this, George.
With them, George. My hem, George. Three inches off the ground.
And then this monkey and these people, George.
They'll argue till they fade
And whisper things and grunt
But thank you for the shade
And putting me in front
Yes, thank you, George for that...
And for the hat.

CELESTE #1: It's hot up here.

YVONNE: It's hot and its monotonous.

LOUISE: I want my glasses!

FRANZ: This is not my good profile.

CELESTE #1: I hate this dress.

CELESTE #2: The soldiers have forgotten us.
CELESTE #1: Don't slouch.
BOATMAN: Animals.
JULES: Are you sure you don't like tall grass?
NURSE: I put on rouge today, too.
FRIEDA: Don't you ever take a bath!
SOLDIER: It's good to be together again.
OLD LADY: Nurse! Hand me my fan!
DOT: It's hot up here!
YVONNE: Its hot and its monotonous!
LOUISE: He took my glasses! I want my glasses!
FRANZ: This is not my good profile!

ALL: And furthermore finding your fading is very degrading and God, I am so hot!

Well there are worse things than sweating by a river on a Sunday.
There are worse things than sweating by a river

BOATMAN: When you're sweating in a picture that was painted by a genius
FRANZ: And you know that you're immortal
FRIEDA: And you'll always be remembered
NURSE: Even if they never see you
OLD LADY: And you're listening to drivel
SOLDIER: And you're part of your companion
LOUISE: And your glasses have been stolen
YVONNE: And you're bored beyond endurance
LOUIS: And the baby has no diapers
CELESTE #1: And you're slouching!
CELESTE #2: I am not!
JULES: And you are out of all proportion.
DOT: And I hate these people!

ALL: You never get a breeze up here.
And she/he's up here forever.

You cannot run amok up here
You're stuck up here in this gavotte.

Perspectives don't make sense up here.
It's tense up here forever.

The outward show of bliss up here is disappearing dot by dot...

And it's hot!

The figures slowly depart and the landscape disappears... We are now on a museum stage in 1984. A young man named George brings his grandmother, Marie, onto the stage. She is the daughter of Dot and the painter and she has come to unveil the seventh invention-sculpture by her grandson commemorating Seurat's painting. After the laser show with clippings of the painting is over, a party in the main gallery commences.


HARRIET: I mean, I don't understand completely...
BILLY: I'm not surprised.
HARRIET: But he combines all these different trends...
BILLY: I'm not surprised.
HARRIET: You can't divide art today into categories neatly
Billy: Oh?
HARRIET: What matters is the means, not the ends.
BILLY: I'm not surprised.
BOTH: But that is the state of the art, my dear.
That is the state of the art.

GREENBERG: It's not enough knowing good from rotten-
REDMOND: You're telling me.
GREENBERG: When something new pops up everyday-
REDMOND: You're telling me.
GREENBERG: It's only new, though, for now-
REDMOND: Nouveau.
GREENBERG: But yesterday's forgotten.
REDMOND: And tomorrow is already passe.
GREENBERG: There's no surprise.
BOTH: But that is the state of the art, my friend.
That is the state of the art.

BETTY: He's an original.
ALEX: Was.
NAOMI: I like the images.
ALEX: Some.
BETTY: Come on, you had your moment, Now it's George's turn-
ALEX: George's turn? I wasn't talking turns, I'm talking art.
BETTY: (Overlapping) Don't you think he's original?
NAOMI: Well, yes.
BETTY: You're talking crap.
ALEX: But is it really new?
NAOMI: Well, no.
ALEX: His own collaborator...
BETTY: It's more than novelty...
NAOMI: Well, yes.
ALEX: It's all promotion, but then-
BETTY: It's just impersonal, but-
BETTY AND ALEX: (To Naomi) That is the state of the art,
isn't it?
NAOMI: Well...

BILLY: Art isn't easy-
HARRIET: Even when you've amassed it.
BETTY: Fighting for prizes-
GREENBERG: No one can be an oracle.
REDMOND: Art isn't easy.
ALEX: Suddenly- You're past it.
NAOMI: All compromises.
HARRIET: And then when its allegorical.
REDMOND, GREENBERG, then ALL: Art isn't easy...
ALL: Any way you look at it.


George enters the party, wheeling his grandmother in front of him. He pauses the action and addresses the audience. Slowly, he attempts to avoid every member at the party by replacing himself with cardboard cutouts. The arrival of Blair Daniels, a critic, worries George and makes him agitated. He runs around trying to keep the cutouts from collapsing, trying to keep his connections intact.

GEORGE- (To himself) All right, George.
As long as it's your night, George.
You know what's in the room, George:
Another chromolume, George.
It's time to get to work.

Greenberg: George, I want you to meet one of our board members.
This is Harriet Pawling!

Harriet: What a pleasure! And this is my friend, Billy Webster.

Billy: How do you do?

Greenberg: Well, I'll just leave you three to chat.

GEORGE- Say, "Cheese", George.
And put them at their ease, George.
You're up on the trapeze, George.
Machines don't grow on trees, George.
Start putting it together...

Harriet: This is the third peice of yours I've seen. They're
getting so large!

GEORGE- Art isn't easy- Even when you're hot!
(Puts cardboard cutout by Billy and Harriet)

Billy: Are these inventions of yours one of a kind?

GEORGE: Advancing art is easy- Yes!
Financing it is not.
A vision's just a vision if it's only in your head.
If no one gets to see it, it's as good as dead.
It has to come to light!
I put the names of my contributors on the side of each machine.

Harriet: How clever.

GEORGE- Bit by bit, Putting it together.
Piece by peice, Only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just a vision's no solution,
Everything depends on execution:
Putting it together- That's what counts!

Harriet: (to the cutout) The Board of the Foundation is meeting next week...

GEORGE- Ounce by Ounce, Putting it together...

Harriet: You'll come to lunch.

GEORGE- Small amounts, adding up to make a work of art.
First of all, you need a good foundation otherwise it's risky from the start...
Takes a little cocktail conversation,
But without the proper preparation,
Having just the vision's no solution,
Everything depends on execution...
The art of making art is putting it together... Bit by bit.

Redmond: We haven't met. Charles Redmond. County Museum of
Wanted you to know we're in the process of giving out some sizable commissions-
I hope you don't mind my bringing up business during a social occasion...

GEORGE- (another cutout is raised) Link by link,
Making the connections... Drink by drink,
Fixing and perfecting the design.
Adding just a dab of politician
(Always knowing where to draw the line).
Lining up the funds but in addition
Lining up a prominent commission,
Otherwise your perfect composition
Isn't going to get much exhibition.

Art isn't easy.
Every minor detail is a major decision-
Have to keep things in scale,
Have to hold to your vision.
Every time I start to feel defensive,
I remember lasers are expensive.
What's a little cocktail conversation
If its gonna get you your foundation,
Leading to a prominent commission
and an exhibition in addition?

ALL: Art isn't easy-

ALEX, BETTY: Trying to make connections.

ALL: Who understands it?

HARRIET, BILLY: Difficult to evaluate.

ALL: Art isn't easy-

GREENBERG, REDMOND: Trying to form collections-

ALL: Always in transit-

NAOMI: And then when you have to collaborate!

ALL: Art isn't easy!
Any way you look at it!

Randolph: George, hello. Lee Randolph. I handle the public
relations for the museum! There's a lot of opportunity for
some nice press here...

GEORGE- (Another cutout)Dot by dot, building up the image.
Shot by shot, Keeping at a distance doesn't pay.
Still, if you remember your objective,
Not give all your privacy away!
A little bit of hype can be effective,
long as you can keep it in perspective.
After all, without some recognition
No one's going to give you a commission!

Art isn't easy! (another cutout)
Overnight you're a trend,
You're the right combination-
Then the trend's at an end.
You're suddenly last year's sensation.
If you feel a sense of coalition,
Then you never really stand alone.
If you want to work to reach fruition-
What you needs a link with your tradition,
And of course a prominent commission,
Plus a little formal recognition,
So that you can go on exhibi-
So that your WORK can go on exhibition.

Blair: There's the man of the hour.

George: Blair, hello! I read your piece on Neo-Expressionism.

Blair: Good for you.

George: Well, what did you think?

Blair: George. Chromolume number 7?

GEORGE- Be nice, George. (Gestures for cutout)

Blair: I was hoping it would be a series of three- four at the most.

GEORGE- You have to pay the price, George.
(gestures again; nothing)

Blair: I have touted your work from the beginning, you know that.
You were really on to something with these light machines- once.

GEORGE- (overlapping) They like to give advice, George.
(gestures again; nothing)
Don't think about it twice, George.

Blair: Now they're just becoming more and more about less and less.

George: I disagree.

Blair: Now don't get me wrong. You're a talented guy. But I think you are capable of far more. Not that you couldn't succeed by doing Chromolume after Chromolume- but there are new discoveries to be made, George.

GEORGE- (runs off and brings a cutout in)Be new, George.
They tell you till they're blue, George.
You're new or else you're through, George.
And even if it's true, George.
You do what you can do...

Bit by bit, Putting it together
Piece by piece, working out the vision night and day.
All it takes is time and perseverance,
With a little luck along the way.
Putting in a personal appearance,
Gathering supporters and adherents...

HARRIET: But he combines all these different trends...

GEORGE- Mapping out the right configuration,
Starting with a suitable foundation...

BETTY: He's an original.

ALEX: Was.

GEORGE- Lining up a prominent commission-
And an exhibition in addition-
Here a little dab of politician-

(Cutouts begin to fall apart, George runs to set them all right)


GEORGE- There a little touch of publication-
Till you have the balanced composition-
Everything depends on preparation-
Even if you do have the suspicion-
That it's taking all your concentration-

BETTY: I like those images.
ALEX: Some
BETTY: They're just his personal response.
ALEX: To what?
BETTY: The painting!
ALEX: Bullshit. Anyway- the painting's overrated.
BETTY: Overrated? It's a masterpeice!
ALEX: A masterpeice? Historically important maybe...
BETTY: Oh, now you're judging Seurat, are you?
ALEX: All it is is pleasant, just like George's work.
BETTY: It's just your jealousy of George's work.
ALEX: No nuance, no response, no relevance...
BETTY: There's nuance and there's response and there's relevance-
ALEX: There's not much point in arguing. Besides it's all promotion, but then-
BETTY: There's not much point in arguing. You say its all promotion, but then-

REDMOND: Nouveau.And yesterday's forgotten.
And you can't tell good from rotten
And today it's all a matter of promotion,
But then-

HARRIET: You can't divide art today.
Go with it.
What will they think of next?
BILLY: I'm not surprised.
What till they think of next?

OTHERS: Most art today
Is a matter of promotion, but then-

ALL (except George): That is the state of the art,
And art isn't easy...

GEORGE: The art of making art
Is Putting It Together-
Bit by bit-
Link by link-
Drink by drink-
Mink by mink-

ALL: And that is the state of the art!

People drift to a separate room for dinner. Alone in front of the painting, Marie looks at the figure of her mother in the painting and recalls her words.


MARIE: You would have liked him, Mama, you would.
Mama, he makes things- Mama, they're good.
Just as you said from the start: Children and Art.
Children and Art.
He should be happy, Mama, he's blue. What do I do?
You should have seen it, it was a sight.
Mama, I mean it- all color and light!
I don't understand what it was.
But, Mama, the things that he does-
They twinkle and shimmer and buzz.
You would have liked them... It... Him...

Henry... Henry? Henry...

George: It's George, grandmother.

Marie: Of course it is. I thought you were your father for a moment.
(indicates painting) Did I tell you who that was?

George: Of course. That is your mother.

MARIE: Isn't she beautiful? There she is... There she is... There she is...
There she is... Mama is everywhere,
He must have loved her so much.

George: Is she really in all those places, Marie?

MARIE: This is our family, this is the lot...
After I go, this is all that you've got, honey.
Wasn't she beautiful, though?
You would have liked her. Mama did things. No one had done.
Mama was funny. Mama was fun. Mama spent money when she had none.
Mama said, "Honey, musn't be blue.
It's not so much do what you like as it is that you like what you do."
Mama said, "Darling, don't make such a drama.
A little less thinking, a little more feeling-" I'm just quoting Mama.

The child is so sweet and the girls are so rapturous.
Isn't it lovely how artists can capture us?

George: Yes, it is, Marie.

MARIE: You would have liked her- Honey, I'm wrong.
You would have loved her!
Mama enjoyed things. Mama was smart.
See how she shimmers. I mean from the heart.
I know, honey, you don't agree...
But this is our family tree...
Just wait till we're there and you'll see... Listen to me.
Mama was smart...
Listen to Mama...
Children and art...
Children and art...
Goodbye, Mama.

The final scene takes place on the island of La Grande Jatte. George is there presenting his Chromolume in France. Marie, having died, left a book for George. A grammar book that had been owned by Dot, her mother. He leafs through the book, reading various passages and notes in the margins.


GEORGE: (reading) "Charles has a book..."
"Charles shows them his crayons..."
"Marie has the ball of Charles..."

(Reads Dot's note)
"Good for Marie."

"Charles misses his ball"

George misses Marie. George misses a lot.
George is alone.

George looks around. He sees the park. It is depressing.
George looks ahead. George sees the dark. George feels afraid. Where are the people out strolling on Sunday?

George looks within. George is adrift.
George goes by guessing.
George looks behind: He had a gift. When did it fade?
You wanted people out strolling on Sunday- sorry, Marie.

See George remember how George used to be.
Stretching his vision in every direction.
See George attempting to see a connection.
When all he can see is maybe a tree...
-the family tree!
Sorry, Marie.

George is afraid. George sees the park. George sees it dying.
George too may fade, leaving no mark, just passing through.
Just like the people out strolling on Sunday...

George looks around. George is alone. No use denying.
George is aground. George has outgrown what he can do.
George would have liked to see people out strolling on Sunday!

In the midst of his reverie, Dot appears- and sees her book. She believes that George is the same George she knew. Grateful for what she learned from the painter, Dot tries to give something back, to help him open his heart.



Dot: Are you working on something new?

George: No.

Dot: That is not like you, George.

GEORGE: I've nothing to say.

DOT: You have many things.

GEORGE: Well, nothing that's not been said.

DOT: Said by you, though, George.

GEORGE: I do not know where to go.

DOT: Nor did I.

GEORGE: I want to make things that count, things that will be new...

DOT: I did what I had to do.

GEORGE: What am I to do?

DOT: Move on... Stop worrying where you're going- Move on.
If you can know where you're going. You've gone.
Just keep moving on.
I chose and my world was shaken- so what? The choice may have been mistaken- the choosing was not. You have to move on.
Look at what you want, not at where you are,
Not at what you'll be. Look at all the things you've done for me:
Opened up my eyes, taught me how to see, Notice every tree-

GEORGE: Notice every tree-

DOT: Understand the light-

GEORGE: Understand the light-

DOT: Concentrate on now...

GEORGE: I want to move on. I want to explore the light.
I want to know how to get through. Through to something new! Something of my own...

BOTH: Move on! Move on!

DOT: Stop worrying if your vision is new.
Let others make that decision- They usually do.
You keep moving on.

Look at what you've done
Then at what you want
Not at where you are, what you'll be.
Look at all the things you gave to me.
Let me give to you something in return...

I would be so pleased...

GEORGE: (overlapping) Something in the light, something in the sky, In the grass, Up behind the trees.
Things I hadn't looked at till now:
Flower in your hat. And your smile.

And the color of your hair.

And the way you catch the light. And the care.
And the feeling. And the life!
Moving on!

DOT: We've always belonged together!

BOTH: We will always belong together!

DOT: Just keep moving on.
Anything you do,
Let it come from you,
Then it will be new.

Give us more to see...

George asks Dot about some words in her grammar book. She says they are words George spoke when he painted. He reads them aloud and the scene slowly reverts to the landscape of the painting. The company, reassembled now, begin to sing softly. Dot takes George by the arm and they join the group- who all bow in homage to their artist.


George: Dot, why did you write these words?

Dot: They are your words, George. The ones you muttered so often when you worked.

George: (reading) Order... Design... Tension... Composition. Balance. Light... Dot, I cannot read this word.

Dot: Harmony.

GEORGE: (reading) "So much love in his words. Forever with his colors. How George looks. He can look forever. What does he see? His eyes so dark and shiny. So careful... so exact..."

ALL: (overlapping with George) Sunday.
By the blue purple yellow red water
On the green purple yellow red grass
As we pass through arrangements of shadows
Towards the verticals of trees...

By the blue purple yellow red water
On the green orange violet mass of the grass

DOT: In our perfect park

GEORGE: Made of flecks of light and dark

ALL: And parasols
People strolling through the trees
Of a small suburban park
On an island in the river
On an ordinary Sunday!

But their picture is not complete... The strollers exit, Dot being the last to go. George steps from the park and opens the book again.

GEORGE: White... a blank page or canvas. His favorite.
So many possibilities.

He turns back to the park to see it has bleached into a bright blank canvas. The image of Dot disappearing slowly behind it.

The recent production on Broadway 2008 was gorgeous and visually stunning! Nothing takes the place of the original, though.