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Merrily We Roll Along [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
     

Merrily We Roll Along [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

by Stephen Sondheim
 

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Songwriter Stephen Sondheim and librettist George Furth's 1981 musical Merrily We Roll Along, based on the 1934 George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play was, like its predecessor, more of a critical success, at least over time, than a popular one. In fact, with a run of only 16 performances, the musical

Overview

Songwriter Stephen Sondheim and librettist George Furth's 1981 musical Merrily We Roll Along, based on the 1934 George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play was, like its predecessor, more of a critical success, at least over time, than a popular one. In fact, with a run of only 16 performances, the musical was an outright flop, the worst commercial failure in Broadway's leading composer's career since Anyone Can Whistle ran nine performances in 1964. The reasons may have been several, the most significant one perhaps being the same backwards structure adopted by the play (each scene takes place earlier in time than the one before it), which intrigued critics but tended to leave audiences confused and disengaged. Other reasons may have included the casting of young unknowns and the low-key staging and costumes, which consisted largely of sweatshirts. Then there was the plot, which concerned an idealistic young playwright (in the play) or composer (in the musical) who becomes jaded during the course of the story, except of course that in this telling he starts out jaded and becomes idealistic. In any case, the reason why the musical was remembered after those 16 performances and revived several times was Sondheim's score, which is one of his best. Writing from personal knowledge and covering the time period of his own career (1955-1980), Sondheim composed some of his most moving love songs ("Not a Day Goes By," "Good Thing Going") and some of his wittiest patter songs ("Franklin Shepard, Inc.," "Bobby and Jackie and Jack") in a collection that held together extraordinarily well. That young cast turned out to have some budding talents including Lonny Price, who went on to a successful career as a stage director and Jason Alexander, who starred on-stage (Jerome Robbins' Broadway) before achieving national television fame on Seinfeld. This is one of those cast albums, like House of Flowers or Anyone Can Whistle, that makes the listener marvel that the stage production could have failed when the music is so wonderful.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/31/2011
Label:
Masterworks
UPC:
0886979025721
catalogNumber:
790257
Rank:
15897

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stephen Sondheim   Primary Artist,Vocals
Tom Shea   Vocals
Bernadette Peters   Vocals
Paul Gemignani   Conductor
Liz Callaway   Vocals
American Theatre Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Gary Stevens   Vocals
Jason Alexander   Vocals
David Loud   Vocals
Steven Jacob   Vocals
Daisy Prince   Vocals
Ann Morrison   Vocals
Donna Marie Elio   Vocals
Marianna Allen   Vocals
David Shine   Vocals
David Cady   Vocals
Tonya Pinkins   Vocals
Lonny Price   Vocals
Terry Finn   Vocals
James Bonkovsky   Vocals
Giancarlo Esposito   Vocals
Geoffrey Horne   Vocals
Paul Hyams   Vocals
Sally Klein   Vocals
Forest D. Ray   Vocals
Clark Sayre   Vocals
Maryrose Wood   Vocals
Marc Moritz   Vocals
Mary Johansen   Vocals
Merrily We Roll Along Pit Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Jim Walton   Vocals
Abby Pogrebin   Vocals
Merrily We Roll Along Cast Ensemble   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Stephen Sondheim   Composer,Lyricist
Didier C. Deutsch   Reissue Producer
Paul Gemignani   Music Direction
Paul Goodman   Engineer
Jay David Saks   Producer
Jonathan Tunick   Orchestration
Harold Prince   Producer,Production Director
Thomas Z. Shepard   Producer
Richard Jay-Alexander   Liner Notes
Martin Starger   Producer
George Furth   Book
Darcy M. Proper   Reissue Producer
Elisabeth Ladwig   Graphic Design
Robert Fryer   Producer
Grade   Producer

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