Full Cast Announced for Encores' MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG!
Casting has been completed for New York City Center's upcoming Encores! production of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, the first New York City Center Encores! production of the season. Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, will be directed by James Lapine with music direction by Rob Berman and musical staging by Dan Knechtges. Merrily has been extended for a two-week run and will play for 15 performances, February 8–19, 2012, at New York City Center, 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.
Joining the previously announced Colin Donnell, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Elizabeth Stanley and Betsy Wolfe will be Adam Grupper and Zachary Unger, with Whit Baldwin, Rachel Coloff, Ben Crawford, Joshua Dela Cruz, Bernard Dotson, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Marja Harmon, Leah Horowitz, Mylinda Hull, Michael X. Martin, Sean McKnight, Kenita R. Miller, Patricia Noonan, Andrew Samonsky, Pearl Sun, Charlie Sutton, Jessica Vosk, Karl Warden and Michael Winther.
Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, is a musical about friendship and the compromise of youthful ideals, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The show moves backwards in time from 1980 to 1955 and examines the lives of three people whose friendship is tested by time, events, ambition and fate. It charts the rise of a songwriting team during the years of Sondheim's own early career and includes some of his most brilliant and bruising songs, such as "Not a Day Goes By," "Old Friends," "Our Time" and "Opening Doors." Although unsuccessful in its original 1981 Broadway production (which ran 16 performances at the Alvin Theatre), Merrily has gained in stature and reputation over the ensuing years, beginning with a reconfigured version at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in 1985, directed by James Lapine. Merrily We Roll Along will run February 8 – 19, 2012.
The Encores! production will be based on Furth and Sondheim's rewrite of the show for La Jolla Playhouse in 1985, with elements of the 1990 Leicester, England production and a subsequent York Theatre production in 1994 incorporated. Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel said, "While it is, generally, the idea of Encores! to present the original Broadway version of the show, when there are living authors who have specific preferences, we welcome their input. In this case, the authors continued to work on the show after the Broadway production closed, and we certainly want to honor their work."
Colin Donnell plays Franklin Shepard, an idealistic young Broadway composer turned Hollywood mogul; Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Charley Kringas, Shepard's partner and best friend; and Celia Keenan-Bolger plays Mary Flynn, their loyal but disillusioned friend. Betsy Wolfe plays Shepard's wife Beth and Elizabeth Stanley plays Gussie Carnegie, the star of their first Broadway hit. Adam Grupper plays Joe Josephson and Zachary Unger plays Frank Jr.