|Directed by: James Lapine
Written by: Book by George Furth, music by Stephen Sondheim
Production year: 2012
Original release: Feb. 8 – 19, 2012
Opening Night: Feb. 8, 2012
Other cast: Colin Donnell, Adam Grupper, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Elizabeth Stanley and Betsy Wolfe
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Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, is a musical about friendship and the compromise of youthful ideals, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The show moves backwards in time from 1980 to 1955 and examines the lives of three people whose friendship is tested by time, events, ambition and fate. It charts the rise of a songwriting team during the years of Sondheim’s own early career and includes some of his most brilliant and bruising songs, such as ‘Not a Day Goes By,’ ‘Old Friends,’ ‘Our Time’ and ‘Opening Doors.’
Although unsuccessful in its original 1981 Broadway production (which ran 16 performances at the Alvin Theatre), Merrily has gained in stature and reputation over the ensuing years, beginning with a reconfigured version at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in 1985, directed by James Lapine.
In 2012, James Lapine directed a new production of the show in New York, that inaugurated the season of the Encores! series of American musicals in concert at City Center.