Mandy Patinkin Shares the Story Behind Hearing Sunday in the Park With George's ‘Finishing the Hat’ for the 1st Time

Video   Mandy Patinkin Shares the Story Behind Hearing Sunday in the Park With George's ‘Finishing the Hat’ for the 1st Time
 
During a Zoom panel for the 92Y, the Homeland star and Tony winner recalls a night with Stephen Sondheim.

As it turns out, Mandy Patinkin earned his famous role on Homeland because of his performance as Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park With George 30 years earlier. During a virtual panel for the 92Y about the final season of the Showtime series, showrunner Alex Gansa revealed that he had seen Patinkin star in the James Lapine-Stephen Sondheim musical: “It's why Mandy got cast as Sol,” said Gansa.

The panel, including Homeland co-star Claire Danes, were discussing self-doubt when Patinkin launched into a story about the early days of creating Sunday in the Park With George. “Steve Sondheim comes over to play this song they want me to put in that night,” he began. “And Sondheim sits down and before he's even halfway through it—his shirt was dry—is just sopping wet.

“And he finishes playing ‘Finishing the Hat’ for the first time for the three of us...and he is a compete wreck at that moment. Terrified to look at anybody in the eye. Certain that it's a disaster. That he's just delivered nothing.” Because even the greats question themselves.

“On the very last day of shooting with Mandy,” Gansa recalled, “he wanted one last take.” Why? To sing “Finishing the Hat” straight to camera and close the loop on a decades-long journey.

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