It was opening night on Broadway on Thursday for the revival of Sunday In The Park With George starring Annaleigh Ashford and Jake Gyllenhaal, directed by Sarna Lapine. Annaleigh is already a Tony Award winner from two years ago so she has the credentials. But how about Jake?
Every review I’ve read so far has been unanimous – Jakey is OUTSTANDING. Note what Ben Brantley of The New York Times had to say about Jake’s performance:
“Mr. Gyllenhaal translates the intensity that has characterized his most memorable screen appearances (including Brokeback Mountain and Nightcrawler) into a searing theatrical presence, in which his eyes are his center of gravity. He embodies one of Seurat’s favorite artistic dictums, “concentrate,” with an unwavering focus that seems to consume and illuminate the dark.”
As far as praise goes, it really doesn’t get much better than that. As I’ve mentioned before, Ben Brantley’s the theatre critic who dismissed James Franco and James got pissy about it. So it’s not like he’s one to fall at the feet of Hollywood stars who decide to kick it on Broadway. But then again, Jake Gyllenhaal is not James Franco. James Franco, the ARTIST, often behaves as though he’s doing a favour for whatever artistic community it is that he happens to be visiting. By all accounts, Jake approached Broadway humbly, asking for a chance to earn his membership. Basically he was like, I’m a big fan. Can I hang out with you guys? I’m a musical theatre nerd, I promise. Let me prove it to you. As he told PEOPLE:
“It’s so nice to get to express myself through music, I always have in my family and I did growing up as a child throughout school. I had so much wonderful luck as an actor in films that how can you not move in that direction when the opportunities are there? But truly my love, my heart has always been in singing, particularly in the musical space.”
When you’re talking about love and hearts and singing, it’s not exactly Leonardo DiCaprio levels of Wolf Pack “cool”. And that’s what makes Jake Gyllenhaal so adorably cool. You know that Saturday Night Live sketch from when Lin-Manuel Miranda hosted earlier this season? Crucible Cast Party? That’s where Jake Gyllenhaal lives.