Merrily We Roll Along review

Merrily We Roll Along Review - Broadway musical

It is difficult to find an answer to the question why the musical flopped at the box office. And it hasn’t been saved neither by positive response from critics, nor by the presence of two prestigious awards. Most likely, the audience was frightened off by the complex structure of the plot. Without specific knowledge of how events of the production unfold, it is very difficult to grasp what is happening on stage. So, it may be considered as produced for insiders only, not for theater-goers. However, more sophisticated beholders could experience the essence of the project, and appreciate its beauty. Still it was closed too soon.

Scenario is built in such a way that the story of the central character Franklin Shepard is told in the reverse order. Initially, the audience sees highly experienced and well-known figure of show business, but then musical gradually rolles back and on stage appears ambitious young man, only planning his creative achievements. Such structure opened many additional features to disclose the nature of the central character, to create deeper and more meaningful dialogues. Viewers had the wonderful opportunity to track changes in the behavior of the main line, to analyze mistakes and make a conclusion allowing not to repeat them in own lives.

While in the most part of musicals comical element gradually replaced by a dramatic, everything is the other way around here. From the first minutes of the performance on the stage the real drama unfolds that subsides only at the end of the first act. While viewing, there is the presence of a certain feeling of hopelessness. Viewers know how sadly story ended, but because of it, they want to help the protagonist to choose another path. The reigning atmosphere of the show best emphasized by compositions of Stephen Sondheim. And they not only look harmoniously as a background, but also well-performed by artists. Our Time should be highlighted, which wonderfully emphasizes essential meaning and unites the individual parts. Many experts have repeatedly noted that during the work on this histrionics, the composer created the best soundtrack in his career at that time.

Unlike the spectators, who partially misunderstood the idea of musical, critics have expressed a positive impression of what they saw. Columnist of The New York Times noted the dramatic component of the project, saying that being a fan Stephen Sondheim is equivalent to break your heart every 20 minutes. Theatre expert Clive Barnes wrote that the spectator should not judge this creation based on reviews of other spectators – only the personal opinion should be formed. In 1982, the show received a nomination for a Tony Award, and was able to win Drama Desk & Theatre World. In April of the same year, record was released on LP album, containing major music pieces. Particularly, Not a Day Goes By, Old Friends & Our Time.
Last Update:June, 28th 2024

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