Despite receiving questionable reviews when it first hit Broadway in 1981, I found Merrily We Roll Along to be a heart warming and entertaining reflection on friendship and the question of what it means for one’s life to be a success.
We enter on wealthy movie producer Franklin Shepard living the high life amongst his flitting, vapid Hollywood cohorts. The show then moves in reverse over the previous twenty years of Shepard’s life, detailing the key moments that led to his success and what he gave up to attain it.
When asked why audiences should come and see the show, director Trini Philip had this to say:
‘It’s guaranteed to be a really fun night’s entertainment. It’s got great music, and a storyline that focuses on friendship rather than romance. It gives the audience a chance to think about how the decisions the characters make through their lives affect how their lives turn out.’
Overwhelmingly, the show is definitely shaping up to be one to watch. Character dynamics were amusing and engaging, and be prepared to get an unexpected punch in the emotional gut from Stacey Barnett’s act one solo. Whilst there are certainly areas of the performance that need tightening up, this critic is excited and expecting big things on opening night.
Tickets for Merrily We Roll Along are avaliable here.