Merrily We Roll Along
Daniel Radcliffe will star as Charley in a new production of Merrily We Roll Along at New York Theatre Workshop. Merrily We Roll Along tickets will be available soon.
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, and ending when he, Charley, and Mary are young, bright-eyed, and meeting for the first time, when Frank and Charley first 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 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, has also just been 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. NYTW's Merrily We Roll Along off Broadway, which sees Daniel Radcliffe's return to the stage, isn't even the only star-studded production in the works in 2022 alone — a film adaptation starring Blake Jenner, 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.
Tickets to Merrily We Roll Along will be available soon.
New York Theatre Workshop
Latest Merrily We Roll Along News & Features
Daniel Radcliffe is back on Broadway! The Harry Potter star, who has since appeared in numerous New York and London shows and films, will return off Broadway in a revival of Merrily We Roll Along as Charley. The Stephen Sondheim and George Furth musical will open at New York Theatre Workshop in late 2022, with dates and additional casting to be announced.