Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along has certainly reversed its Broadway fortune! The musical's first-ever revival, which opened October 10 at the Hudson Theatre, has extended its tenure again with performances now continuing through July 7, 2024. The limited run had been set to finish March 24.
Leading the production after starring in the revival's 2022 Off-Broadway run at New York Theatre Workshop are Daniel Radcliffe as Charley Kringas, Jonathan Groff as Franklin Shepard, and Lindsay Mendez as Mary Flynn, with Krystal Joy Brown as Gussie Carnegie, Katie Rose Clarke as Beth Shepard, and Reg Rogers as Joe Josephson. Max Rackenberg and Brady Wagner share the role of Frank Jr.
The company also includes Sherz Aletaha, Maya Boyd, Leana Rae Concepcion, Corey Mach, Talia Robinson, Jamila Sabares-Klemm, Brian Sears, Evan Alexander Smith, Christian Strange, Vishal Vaidya, Natalie Wachen, and Jacob Keith Watson. Rounding out the company as swings are Morgan Kirner, Amanda Rose, and Koray Tarhan. Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Jason Thinger.
Maria Friedman directs the production, with choreography by Tim Jackson and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. Scenic and costume design are by Soutra Gilmour, with lighting design by Amith Chandrashaker, sound design by Kai Harada, hair and wig design by Cookie Jordan, music supervision by Catherine Jayes, music direction by Joel Fram, associate music supervision by Alvin Hough, Jr., and music coordination by Kristy Norter.
With a book by Furth—adapted from the George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play of the same name—and a score by Sondheim, the musical tracks the lives of three friends navigating the entertainment industry over three decades in reverse chronological order. Sondheim's score includes such songs as "Old Friends," "Now You Know," "Franklin Shepard, Inc.," "Good Thing Going," and "Not a Day Goes By."
The work was not a success on its first Broadway outing, running just 16 performances and ending the string of genre-defining collaborations between Sondheim and director Hal Prince. Together with the popularity of the show's original Broadway cast album, a revised version of the show has transformed the work into a cult favorite. This current production was originally staged at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in 2012 and later transferred to the West End, where it won an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. Huntington Theatre in Boston gave the staging its North American premiere in 2017.