Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez star in the first revival of Merrily We Roll Along on Broadway following a sold-out run at New York Theatre Workshop. Get Merrily We Roll Along tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
Merrily We Roll Along is a musical about 20 years in the lives of three old friends: Broadway composer-turned-film producer Franklin Shepard, playwright and lyricist Charley Kringas, and theatre critic Mary Flynn. The show charts how their friendship devolves and fractures in the course of two decades as a result of Frank's relentless quest for success, fame, and fortune.
Merrily We Roll Along goes in reverse chronological order, beginning when Frank is a successful but shallow producer whose choices have distanced him from his true composing talents and lifelong friends. The show ends when he, Charley, and Mary are young, bright-eyed, and meeting for the first time, when Frank and Charley become a writing duo and Mary meets them when she hears the beautiful music coming from their apartment. In the meantime, we also see Frank's romantic and professional relationships get turned inside out, too.
The musical is based on a 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The Merrily We Roll Along musical changed the names and professions of its principal characters: playwright Richard Niles became Franklin, painter Jonathan Crale became Charley, and novelist Julia Glenn became Mary.
Adapting the story of Merrily We Roll Along into a musical also allowed composer Stephen Sondheim to be inventive with style and structure. To fit the reverse-chronological-order setup, he puts reprises of songs before their "original" versions, and he repeats some themes and sounds in different songs to mimic how memories from one's youth take on difference resonances over time.
Sondheim collaborated with bookwriter George Furth and director Hal Prince for the original production of Merrily We Roll Along on Broadway in 1981. It was the trio's second collaboration after the greatly successful Company — which, coincidentally, was just revived on Broadway in the 2021-22 season. The debut of Merrily We Roll Along in New York was not as successful initially; the show closed after 52 previews and 16 performances.
Since then, however, the show underwent extensive rewrites and has become a classic, spawning multiple Off-Broadway revivals and a London production that earned the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. This production of Merrily We Roll Along isn't even the only star-studded production currently in the works — a film adaptation starring Paul Mescal, Beanie Feldstein, and Ben Platt has begun filming and will shoot over the course of 20 years.
Merrily We Roll Along and Company join Assassins and Into the Woods in the list of recent Sondheim revivals in New York. Classic Stage Company mounted Assassins in winter 2021, and Into the Woods played New York City Center as part of the Encores! musical revival series ahead of a limited Broadway engagement in summer 2022. Between the Merrily Off-Broadway and Broadway productions, Sondheim's Sweeney Todd is getting a 2023 Broadway revival.
How long is Merrily We Roll Along?
Merrily We Roll Along runs 2 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission.
How can I get Merrily We Roll Along tickets?
Tickets to Merrily We Roll Along are available on New York Theatre Guide. Get Merrily We Roll Along Broadway tickets now.