SundayIntheParkPhoto credit: TheatreMania.com

Last week, visitors of the Art Institute of Chicago got a surprise when the famous painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by George Seurat came to life in song. At the top of the museum's Grand Staircase leading to the Impressionist Galleries, a full-sized replica of Seurat's masterpiece was installed but devoid of most of the foreground characters, leaving visitors puzzled by the strange new version.

In anticipation of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George, characters from this famous painting came to life, filling in the painting's missing characters, for a surprising musical performance.

Only in Chicago could these two masterpieces have engaged in conversation with one another. Inspired by the Art Institute's famous Seurat masterpiece, the musical Sunday in the Park with George tells the story of a painter's struggle between creating art and living life. The Chicago Shakespeare production is staged by Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin and features Broadway actors Jason Danieley as George and Carmen Cusack as Dot/Marie, alongside a stellar cast of Chicago talents.

And if Griffin can recreate the magic and power he established in ChicagoShake's Follies last season, then we're all in for a real treat. The man certainly understands his way around a Sondheim musical.

Sunday in the Park with George begins performances September 26 and will run through November 4, 2012 in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Courtyard Theater. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com/sunday.

Watch a video of the impromptu performance here: