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Sondheim's 'Merrily' Aims For Broadway In 2009/10

During an exclusive, live online chat with legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim (Sunday in the Park with George) and Roundabout's Artistic Director Todd Haimes on Tuesday, May 6th, Haimes announced the goal of bringing the musical 'Merrily We Roll Along' to Broadway sometime in the 2009/2010 season. 

A participant posed the following question: 

Theatrimelz: Mr. Haimes and Ms. Beers are there future plans for another Sondheim revival or production in the works at RTC?

To which Mr. Haimes responded: 

Todd_Haimes: We hope to produce Merrily We Roll Along in 2009/2010 Broadway Season. And that production will be directed by James Lapine.

Merrily We Roll Along, which concerns three friends torn apart by show business success, features a score by Sondheim and a book by George Furth. Merrily We Roll Along was last seen on Broadway in 1981 when it had a two week run. Since its debut, it has been produced a number of times and been rumored to be re-worked and adjusted by Sondheim and various directors. 

Press notes describe the musical as follows, "Merrily We Roll Along is a musical with a book by George Furth and lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim. It is based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Furth and Sondheim retained the basic structure and overall theme of the play but updated it to encompass the period from 1955 to 1976. Its main protagonist is Franklin Shepard who, in 1976, is a one-time composer of Broadway musicals who has become a highly successful but cynical and jaded film producer who has lost his friends, including longtime collaborator Charley Kringas"

James Lapine's credits include Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Passion, Falsettos (with William Finn), Dirty Blonde (by Claudia Shear and conceived with her). As a director he has worked on Golden Child, The Diary of Anne Frank, Amour, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Off-Broadway: wrote the plays Table Settings; Twelve Dreams; Luck, Pluck and Virtue; The Moment When; and Fran's Bed. He has won three Tony Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, a Pulitzer Prize with Stephen Sondheim for Sunday in the Park With George.

Photo Credit Walter McBride/Retna

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