New Yorkers know that starting out in this city of 8 million stories is exhilarating,
scary, and an experience never to be forgotten. Even jaded natives remember the feeling of finding their first apartment,
getting their first big break. For those who've never seen Stephen Sondheim's tribute to starting out in the Big Apple, "Merrily
We Roll Along" will resonate...whether you're 18 or 80.
Although a critical and commercial failure when it opened
on Broadway in 1981, "Merrily We Roll Along" was delicately retooled for the 1994 revival and went on to win the 2001 Olivier
Award in London. The original production was staged at the Alvin Theater and directed by Hal Prince. The 1994 streamlined
version was a sell-out production staged at the York Theatre Company and directed by Susan H. Schulman.
Roll Along" begins in California in 1976 and rolls scene by scene back to 1957 as Frank, Mary and Charley trace the roots
of their friendship. Along the way, they struggle with issues of the allure of money-grubbing Hollywood versus the collaborative
art of writing Broadway musicals; remaining loyal to family and friends while still watching out for yourself; accepting that
love and loss and growing up take their toll on everyone differently. By the end of the play, the three friends find themselves
at age 20 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and at the beginning of their illustrious careers on Broadway and in Hollywood.
George Furth wrote the book of the musical, drawn from a Kaufman and Hart play of the same name. Uplifting numbers
include "Old Friends," "Not a Day Goes By" and "Good Thing Going."