Everything to Know About the MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Movie!
Now you know! As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Stephen Sondheim's musical Merrily We Roll Along is coming to the big screen starring Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein! The film, which will be directed by Richard Linklater, is set to be shot across the next twenty years and in reverse chronological order. To prepare you to meet the movers and shapers of Merrily, we're giving you our guide to the big screen adaptation, including a look at the history of the show and a peek at the cast. Check it all out below!
THE HISTORY OF MERRILY
Merrily We Roll Along is the musical adaptation of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's play of the same name. The show centers around a trio of friends: Franklin Shepard, Charley Kringas, and Mary Flynn. The show begins in 1976 with Frank, who, having once been a talented composer of Broadway musicals, having now abandoned his friends and his songwriting career to become a producer of Hollywood movies. The show's narrative then shows the events of the trio's lives in reverse chronological order, ending in 1957. The musical has a score by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth, and the original production was directed by Harold Prince.
The original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along opened in 1981. The production played for a total of 44 previews and 16 performances at the Alvin Theatre. The story of the show's original journey to Broadway was brought to the screen in 2016 with the documentary Best Worst Thing That Ever Could've Happened, directed by Lonny Price.
Since its original production, the show has seen many different iterations, with several productions making adjustments to the material. One of the most notable changes was Sondheim's addition of the song 'Growing Up' during the show's production at the La Jolla Playhouse in 1985. Check out clips of some of the show's notable productions and appearances below!
New York City Center's Encores Production (2012)
West End Production (2013)
Six by Sondheim Documentary (2014)
Wallis Center's Production (2016)
Huntington Theatre Company's Production (2017)
Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway Revival (2018)
MEET THE MERRILY CAST
Ben Platt - Charley Kringas
Ben Platt won a Tony Award for his performance as Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen after originating the role both at Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage and Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theater. He has also appeared as Elder Cunningham in both the Broadway and Chicago productions of The Book of Mormon. He is also known for his performance as Benji in the Pitch Perfect movie series. His other film credits include Ricki and the Flash, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and Run This Town. He released his debut solo album, Sing to Me Instead, in March 2019. He is also set to star in the upcoming Netflix series The Politician.
Beanie Feldstein - Mary Flynn
Beanie Feldstein made her Broadway debut as Minnie Fay in the 2017 Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! alongside Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce. She was recently seen on screen starring in the film Booksmart. Her other film credits include Lady Bird, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and The Female Brain. Her television credits include Orange is the New Black, Will & Grace, The Devil You Know, and What We Do in the Shadows
Blake Jenner - Frank Shepard
Blake Jenner is known for playing Ryder Lynn in Fox's hit TV series Glee, a role that he got after winning the second season of Oxygen's The Glee Project. His other television credits include Melissa & Joey, Supergirl, and What/If. He has appeared on film in The Edge of Seventeen, Everybody Wants Some!!, The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, Billy Boy, and American Animals. He was seen on stage as Christian de Neuvillette in Cyrano and the Goodspeed Opera House, and he is set to revisit the role in The New Group's upcoming production of the show.