Merrily We Roll Along [Original Broadway Cast] [Bonus Track]

Merrily We Roll Along [Original Broadway Cast] [Bonus Track]

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, theSee more details below


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 the career of Sondheim, Broadway's leading composer, 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. [The 1985 CD reissue of the album added as a bonus track the song "It's a Hit!," which had been eliminated from the initial 1982 LP release for space reasons. The 2007 CD reissue added two more bonus tracks, one a previously unreleased demo recording of "It's a Hit!" enthusiastically performed by Sondheim himself, and the other a live performance of "Not a Day Goes By" by Bernadette Peters from her album Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall.]

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Related Subjects


  1. Overture  -  Original London Cast
  2. The Hills of Tomorrow / Merrily We Roll Along (1980) / Rich And Happy  -  Original London Cast
  3. Merrily We Roll Along (1979-1975) / Old Friends / Like It Was  -  Original London Cast
  4. Merrily We Roll Along (1974-1973) / Franklin Shepard, Inc.  -  Original London Cast
  5. Old Friends  -  Original London Cast
  6. Not A Day Goes By  -  Original London Cast
  7. Now You Know  -  Original London Cast
  8. It's A Hit!  -  Original London Cast
  9. Merrily We Roll Along (1964-1962) / Good Thing Going  -  Original London Cast
  10. Merrily We Roll Along (1961-1960) / Bobby And Jackie And Jack  -  Original London Cast
  11. Not A Day Goes By  -  Original London Cast
  12. Opening Doors  -  Original London Cast
  13. Our Time  -  Original London Cast
  14. The Hills Of Tomorrow  -  Original London Cast
  15. It's A Hit (Bonus track)  -  Original London Cast
  16. Not A Day Goes By (Bonus track)  -  Original London Cast

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stephen Sondheim   Primary Artist,Vocals
Tom Shea   Vocals
Bernadette Peters   Vocals
Seymour Barab   Track Performer
John Beal   Track Performer
John Campo   Track Performer
Tom Fay   Track Performer
David Gale   Track Performer
Jack Gale   Track Performer
Paul Gemignani   Conductor
Paul Ingraham   Track Performer
Steve Johns   Track Performer
Charles McCracken   Track Performer
John Moses   Track Performer
Harriet Orenstein   Track Performer
Scott   Track Performer
Alan Shulman   Track Performer
Edward Strauss   Track Performer
Roger Wendt   Track Performer
Liz Callaway   Vocals
American Theatre Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Clarissa Howell   Track Performer
Eduard Strauss   Track Performer
Avron Coleman   Track Performer
Gary Stevens   Vocals
Paul Pizzuti   Track Performer
Jason Alexander   Vocals
David Loud   Track Performer
Charles Millard   Track Performer
Nick Cerrato   Track Performer
Steven Jacob   Vocals
Daisy Prince   Vocals
Ann Morrison   Vocals
Irving Berger   Track Performer
Donna Marie Elio   Vocals
Marianna Allen   Vocals
Robert Ayers   Track Performer
David Shine   Vocals
David Cady   Vocals
Tonya Pinkins   Vocals
John X. Reed   Track Performer
Lonny Price   Vocals
Terry Finn   Vocals
James Bonkovsky   Vocals
David Brown   Track Performer
Giancarlo Esposito   Vocals
Geoffrey Horne   Vocals
Paul Hyams   Vocals
Sally Klein   Vocals
George Maniere   Track Performer
Abby Pogrebim   Vocals
Forest D. Ray   Vocals
Clark Sayre   Vocals
Steve Uscher   Track Performer
Maryrose Wood   Vocals
Jim Walton   Vocals
David Shiner   Vocals
Marc Moritz   Vocals
Mary Johansen   Vocals
David Brown   Track Performer
Paul Pizzutti   Track Performer
Janie Gleason   Vocals
Jim Walton   Vocals
Garry Stevens   Vocals
John Reed   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Stephen Sondheim   Composer,Lyricist
Didier C. Deutsch   Reissue Producer
Paul Gemignani   Musical Director
Paul Goodman   Engineer
Jay David Saks   Producer
Harold Prince   Director
Thomas Z. Shepard   Producer,Audio Production
Darcy Proper   Reissue Producer
Nick Sangiamo   Cover Photo
Richard Jay-Alexander   Liner Notes
Roxanne Slimak   Art Direction
Darcy M. Proper   Reissue Producer
Larry Fuller   Choreographer

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