Merrily We Roll Along [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/1990
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 078635584028
  • Catalog Number: 5840

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stephen Sondheim Primary Artist, Lyre, Track Performer
Trio Track Performer
Tom Shea cast
Ted Track Performer
Bernadette Peters Track Performer
Joe Track Performer
Seymour Barab Performing Ensemble
John Beal Performing Ensemble
Beth Track Performer
John Campo Performing Ensemble
Tom Fay Performing Ensemble
Frank Track Performer
David Gale Performing Ensemble
Jack Gale Performing Ensemble
Paul Gemignani Conductor
Paul Ingraham Performing Ensemble
Steve Johns Performing Ensemble
Mary Track Performer
Charles McCracken Performing Ensemble
John Moses Performing Ensemble
Harriet Orenstein Performing Ensemble
Les Scott Performing Ensemble
Alan Shulman Performing Ensemble
Edward Strauss Performing Ensemble
Roger Wendt Performing Ensemble
Liz Callaway cast
Terry Track Performer
Clarissa Howell Performing Ensemble
Avron Coleman Performing Ensemble
Gary Stevens cast
Charley Track Performer
Paul Pizzuti Performing Ensemble
David Loud Performing Ensemble, cast
Charles Millard Performing Ensemble
Nick Cerrato Performing Ensemble
Steven Jacob cast
Daisy Prince cast
Ann Morrison cast
Irving Berger Performing Ensemble
Donna Marie Elio cast
Marianna Allen cast
Robert Ayers Performing Ensemble
David Shine cast
David Cady cast
Tonya Pinkins cast
John X. Reed Performing Ensemble
Lonny Price cast
Terry Finn cast
James Bonkovsky cast
Giancarlo Esposito cast
Geoffrey Horne cast
Paul Hyams cast
Sally Klein cast
George Maniere Performing Ensemble
Forest D. Ray cast
Clark Sayre cast
Steve Uscher Performing Ensemble
Maryrose Wood cast
The Orchestra Track Performer
Jim Walton cast
Technical Credits
Stephen Sondheim Composer, Liner Notes
Paul Simon Composer
Eddie Cantor Composer
Roger Miller Composer
Didier C. Deutsch Reissue Coordinator
Paul Gemignani Musical Director
Paul Goodman Engineer
Johnny Hartman Composer
Jay David Saks Producer
Jonathan Tunick Orchestration
Thomas Z. Shepard Producer
J.J. Stelmach Art Direction
Darcy Proper Mastering, Reissue Coordinator
Robert Kimball Liner Notes
Roxanne Slimak Art Direction
Watt Composer
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