2 Acts, Book Musical, Rated PG-13
York Theatre Version (1994)
Sondheim's semi-autobiographical musical turns back the clock on friendship and the high price of success.
The authors of the landmark Company reunite to turn the traditional showbiz musical on its head in this thrilling and compelling Broadway fable about friendship, compromise and the high price of success. Stephen Sondheim and George Furth expertly blend the excitement and energy of a backstage musical with a poignant and emotional contemporary story about the importance of staying true to one's ideals.
Merrily We Roll Along begins in the present and moves backwards, tracing the lives of wealthy, jaded composer Franklin Shepard and his two estranged friends through each milestone of their personal and professional lives (good and bad). The show ends with a touch of rueful irony, as the three best friends at the start of their careers face a bright future: young, talented and enthusiastic about the worlds waiting to be conquered. Merrily We Roll Along is a modest-sized show that crackles with the wit, humor and intensity that embody the spirit of New York City. With a brilliant "Broadway-style" score and that deep insight one expects from any Sondheim endeavor, Merrily We Roll Along is a spirited and moving cautionary tale for anyone who has ever pursued a dream.
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Another one-act version of Passionella was written by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Mike Nichols four years before Mr. Nichols directed The Apple Tree.