Photo Flash: First Look at Eden Espinosa, Mark Umbers, Damian Humbley and More in MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at Huntington

The Huntington Theatre Company will open its 2017-2018 season with the legendary musical Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim. Director Maria Friedman will recreate her critically celebrated West End production for Boston audiences. Performances run now through October 15, 2017 at the Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the star-studded cast in action below!

The musical includes a book by George Furth. Music direction will be provided by Matthew Stern (The Bridges of Madison County and The Scottsboro Boys at SpeakEasy Stage Company) and choreography by Tim Jackson (Merrily We Roll Along in the West End).

Maria Friedman's stunning London production of Merrily We Roll Along received universal rave reviews - the most five star reviews in West End history - as well as the Olivier Award for Best Musical and high praise from Stephen Sondheim himself. Travelling backwards in time over 30 years in the entertainment business, this cult favorite musical charts the relationships of close friends Franklin, Charley, and Mary, and features some of Sondheim's most beautiful songs, including "Good Thing Going," "Old Friends," and "Not a Day Goes By. The Independent called Friedman's production of Merrily We Roll Along "one of the great musical productions of this or any other era."

Merrily We Roll Along features a live orchestra of nine musicians with orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick and an award-winning cast of Boston favorites and first-rate international musical theatre artists. The show follows the lives of three close friends - Frank Shepard, an influential song writer and film producer, lyricist Charley Kringas, and theatre critic Mary Flynn. Mark Umbers (She Loves Me at Menier Chocolate Factory) and Damian Humbley (Forbidden Broadway in the West End) will reprise their roles from Maria Friedman's London production playing Frank and Charley, respectively, and Eden Espinosa (Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway and San Francisco and Los Angeles productions) joins the cast as Mary.

Frank's second wife Gussie is played by Aimee Doherty (A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington). Gussie's first husband, Broadway producer Joe Josephson, is played by Christopher Chew (Amphitryon at the Huntington and Bridges of Madison County at SpeakEasy Stage Company).

Frank's first wife Beth Spencer is played by Jennifer Ellis (The Bridges of Madison County at SpeakEasy Stage Company). Frank Jr., the eight-year-old son of Frank and Beth, is played by Cameron Levesque (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at Fiddlehead Theatre) and Brendan Cole O'Brien (Show Boat at Fiddlehead Theatre) at alternating performances. Beth's mother, Mrs. Spencer, is played by Amy Barker (A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington) and Beth's father, Mr. Spencer, is played by Robert Saoud (A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Huntington). Ceit Zweil (Mame at Stoneham Theatre) plays Charley's wife Evelyn.

Other cast members include Jessica Kundla (Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington) as Meg, Maurice Emmanuel Parent (A Raisin in the Sun at the Huntington and The Scottsboro Boys at SpeakEasy Stage Company) as Bunker, Rebecca Gibel(Camelot at Trinity Repertory Company) as KT, Pablo Torres (A Little Night Music at the Huntington) as Ru, Patrick Varner (A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington) as Tyler, Craig Walezkao (Kinky Boots first national tour) as Jerome, and Morgan Kirner (Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music at the Huntington) as the newscaster. Caleb Damschroder (Cabaret on Broadway), Bransen Gates (Barnum at Moonbox Productions), and CarlA Martinez (Barnum at Moonbox Productions) round out the ensemble.

Merrily We Roll Along features scenic and costume design by Soutra Gilmour (Antigone at the National Theatre), and lighting design by Philip Rosenberg (Can You Forgive Her?, Betrayal, Private Lives, Bus Stop, and She Loves Me at the Huntington). Production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.

For more tickets and more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson


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