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‘Merrily We Roll Along’ revival recoups investment

Maria Friedman is at the helm of the musical’s first revival, which began performances in fall of 2023.

(L -R) Reg Rogers, Katie Rose Clarke, Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez in “Merrily We Roll Along,” 2023 (Credit: Matthew Murphy)

The first-ever revival of George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s 1981 musical “Merrily We Roll Along” has recouped its $12 million capitalization. Maria Friedman directs the production, which began Broadway previews on Sept. 19, 2023, and opened on Oct. 10 at the Hudson Theatre. The twice-extended production is now scheduled to play a limited run through July 7, 2024.

Based on the original play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and featuring a book by Furth and a score by Sondheim, “Merrily We Roll Along” charts the turbulent relationship between composer Franklin Shepard and his two lifelong friends — writer Mary Flynn and lyricist/playwright Charley Kringas. The revival is headlined by Jonathan Groff as Franklin, Lindsay Mendez as Mary and Daniel Radcliffe as Charley, with Krystal Joy Brown as Gussie Carnegie, Katie Rose Clarke as Beth Shepard and Reg Rogers as Joe Josephson.

The hit status of this “Merrily We Roll Along” is especially poignant, as the original 1981 production, directed by Harold Prince, closed after just 16 performances. Friedman’s vision for the musical began in 2012 at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory and later in the West End — winning the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Revival — which was followed by a 2017 mounting at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company and a 2022 staging at Off-Broadway’s New York Theatre Workshop.

The Broadway revival released a cast album on Nov. 15, 2023.

“Merrily We Roll Along” is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, David Babani, Patrick Catullo, Jeff Romley and New York Theatre Workshop.