Merrily We Roll Along, written by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, officially opened November 16, 1981, at Broadway's Alvin Theatre. The musical, directed by Harold Prince with choreography by Larry Fuller, played 52 previews and 16 performances before closing November 28, 1981, earning a Tony Award for Best Original Score.
Based on a George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s play of the same name, Merrily We Roll Along tells the story of how a composer's idealism and friendships were corrupted by success is told backwards, starting with the disillusioned present and ending with their optimistic college years.
The production starred Jason Alexander as Joe, Marianna Allen as Girl Auditioning, James Bonkovsky as George, David Cady as Jerome, Liz Callaway as Nightclub Waitress, Donna Marie Elio as terry, Giancarlo Esposito as Valedictorian, Terry Finn as Gussie, Geoffrey Horne as Franklin Shepard (at age 43), Paul Hyams as Mr. Spencer, Steven Jacob as Photographer, Mary Johansen as Mrs. Specner, Sally Klein as Beth, David Loud as Ted, Marc Moritz as Alex, Tonya Pinkins as Gwen Wilson, Abby Pogrebin, Lonny Price as Charley Kringas, Daisy Prince as Meg, Forest d. Ray as Ru, Clark Sayre as Soundman, Tom Shea as Bartender, David Shine as Les, Gary Stevens as Waiter, Jim Walton as Franklin Shepard, Maryrose Wood as Ms. Gordon.
Merrily We Roll Along featured scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Judith Dolan, lighting desing by David Hersey, and sound design by Jack Mann with stage management by Beverley Randolph, Richard Evans, and Brenna Krupa.
Though short-lived, Merrily We Roll Along has had a fruitful life since it closed on Broadway, including a production at Encores! starring Colin Donnell, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Celia Keenan-Bolger, plus an upcoming film adaptation directed by Richard Linklater that will be filmed over the course of 20 years.
Special thank you to Jennifer Ashley Tepper, David L. Snyder, Terry Finn and Abigail Pogrebin.