The Music Theatre Company in Highland Park presents “Merrily We Roll Along,” a marvelous musical with a great book by George Furth and beautiful music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim himself. A rarely produced musical, The Music Theatre Company is thrilled to be presenting its first five-week run with this widely-loved work. It is based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The show is about 3 friends who stick together through their lives. The story moves backwards from present day, to when they all first met.
The story begins in 1976 and ends in 1957. I love the way how the ensemble narrates the show as the characters go from old to young within a span of 2 hours. The transitions were marvelously blocked by the fantastic director/choreographer of this show, Jessica Reddish, who is the founding Artistic Director. The set and the music were great. I highly recommend this show to everyone! I’m a huge fan of Stephen Sondheim’s work, and have never seen or heard this show. I only knew some of the familiar songs from this show, “Not a Day Goes By,” “Good Thing Going,” “Old Friends,” and “Our Time.” But this story is truly a great story to tell, with great actors to help portray it.
The wonderful cast includes Jessie Mueller, who was hilarious as Mary Flynn, Jarrod Zimmerman as songwriter Franklin Shepard, and Alan Shmuckler, who is a real character play Frank’s writing partner and friend Charlie Kringas. Dara Cameron plays Frank’s wife Beth, who sings a beautiful rendition of “Not a Day Goes By.” Other notable cast members in the show include Stephanie Herman as Frank’s wife Gussie, and her ex-husband Joe, played by Jerry Galante. The ensemble really helps guide this show. Props to this wonderful ensemble!
Merrily We Roll Along will be running March 31-May 1, 2011 at The Music Theatre Company at the Karger Center, 1850 Green Bay Road in Highland Park.
Shows are Thursdays – Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Additional matinees will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 and Saturday, April 30. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling 847.570.4900 or visiting www.themusictheatrecompany.org. Groups of ten or more can purchase tickets by calling 847.579.4950 x 2.
The Music Theatre Company’s patrons will receive a 15% discount off their bill at Café Central, a casual and cozy French bistro at 455 Central Ave. in Highland Park. Please call (847) 266-7878 for reservations. Bring in your email ticket confirmation before or after the show to receive the discount. Discount applies for dining the day of ticket only.
For additional participating restaurants go to www.themusictheatrecompany.org.
Saturday, April 23 at 2pm, The Music Theatre Company will present a reading of the play, Merrily We Roll Along, by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart on which the musical is based. Actors in the musical will play their corresponding role(s) in the play. The reading will be directed by Michael Weber and is free to the public. Audiences are encouraged to attend and stay for a post-show discussion, examining the methods of adaptation and the ideas utilized (or not) in the musical.