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Merrily We Roll Along

From 323 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Great staging, Great singing, Ambitious

About the show

Roundabout’s company in residence, Fiasco Theater, brings their imaginative, stripped-down aesthetic to Stephen Sondheim's musical about about a trio of showbiz friends who fall apart and come together over 20 years. More…

Based on a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and premiering on Broadway in 1984, "Merrily We Roll Along” is an enduring work that confronts the pains and pleasures of fame, fortune, and old friends.


Member Reviews (323)

MEMBERS SAY:

Entertaining, Clever, Great staging, Great singing, Ambitious
78
Avg Score

79
Absorbing, Clever, Well staged, Thought-provoking, Truncated

See it if you like Sondheim. Not the full MWRA experience, but enjoyable. Fast-paced, gd songs (altho iffy voices), sad story about dreams gone awry.

Don't see it if you want the show's full emotional impact; 90 min version is flattened. None of the many losses seemed devastating. Clever use of sm cast.

71
Clever, Resonant, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if A good body of work that is lite and breezy. Nice plotline.

Don't see it if If you need a musical with strong singing, singer's are not that great.

85
Complex, Dizzying, Heartbreaking, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if Intricate music & lyrics. Sad exploration of friends whose flaws & ambition drive them apart. The reverse timeline is a wistful memory.

Don't see it if You want a more uplifting experience. You want more humor. You don’t like Sondheim’s musical style.

75
Gnigats taerg, Sgnos taerg, Gnitnioppasid, Gniniatretne, Dewalf

See it if to see a trimmed revival of "the best worst thing" Sondheim & Furth collaborated on, feat. a great score, flawed book & reverse-time gimmick

Don't see it if u only think chronologically; ur a Sondheim purist (tho u should take any chance to see a deft theatre co. mount this rarely-produced show).

Also It was nice to see a full production (despite the stripped-down stagin... Read more Read less

82
Thought-provoking, Confusing, Great acting, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if You’re a fan of Sondheim, curious about how a pared down cast can fare & a reverse timeline works on stage, enjoy plots of hope, cynicism

Don't see it if Not a fan of musicals, expect large casts & athletic production numbers, confused by a reverse timeline, failed dreams cause pain

82
Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Great writing, Funny

See it if you like a witty and intelligent musical about friendship vs ambition, quality vs money. Very well staged by Fiasco Company.

Don't see it if you do not like Sondheim or like first class singing voices. Fiasco Company has great ideas but singers not first rate.Some off key moments.

Also I liked the way Fiasco Co streamlined this Sondheim musical The singer... Read more Read less

98
Entertaining, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You love Sondheim; a great young energetic cast who can really sing & act; you love musicals. Not a weak link in the cast.

Don't see it if You don't realize that the years are moving backwards (but they do announce the years throughout the show). Otherwise you might be lost.

81
Great staging, Ambitious, Delightful, Clever, Sondheim

See it if You want to see a rarely produced Sondheim show with a great story told in reverse. Lots of songs in a production by the Fiasco Theater Co.

Don't see it if You expect an elaborate musical with more than six actors. Do not like one person playing multiple roles.

Also This is not quite up to the standards of the musical In The Woods, whi... Read more Read less

65
Disappointing, Slow, Not up to snuff, In need of professionals

See it if you have no comparison to previous productions; you appreciate inexperienced actors taking on a challenge in a stripped down version.

Don't see it if I love Merrily/it's music & have seen many adaptations, not all good - this one is the worst. Unskilled actors & singers try very hard.

Also Merrily is not a typical play and Sondheim is not a typical composer/l... Read more Read less

79
Entertaining, Clever, Great singing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're looking for a fast-moving musical about life and how everything changes over time.

Don't see it if you're a purist and want to see an unaltered production of Merrily, you don't like countless time jumps and reverse order of events

70
Clever, Ambitious, Great music, Confusing, Intelligent

See it if A fun evening. The music is terrific. Good performances.

Don't see it if The reverse story can be confusing. The worst, ugliest costumes I have ever seen.

75
Clever, Great music, Entertaining

See it if If you enjoy a story told backwards, good music, or you like plots about friendships, about artistic endeavors or unrequited love.

Don't see it if If you do not like unusual approaches to story telling or are not particularly interested in plots about pursuing careers in the arts.

57
Flat, Cliched, Slow, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you are a Sondheim fan. Fans should see it at least once as part of his total oeuvre. Glad I saw it but will not see it again.

Don't see it if you expect a production that is fresh and lively. This production was flat.

74
Stripped down staging, Good score, Uneven, Disappointing

See it if you are a Sondheim fan & want to see a stripped down version of one of his problematic works. Some wonderful songs.

Don't see it if you expect to hear that score given it's full potential. The voices & orchestrations were disappointing.

88
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Confusing, Great staging

See it if you can enjoy fabulous musical numbers without fully understanding the weird plot that moves backwards.

Don't see it if you need your musical to have an engrossing and logical plot.

89
Courageous, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if You love Sondheim and are eager to see what this terrific company can do with a scaled-back version.

Don't see it if You are a Sondheim purist to the extent that you are unwilling to try a variation, or if you've not seen it and are unfamiliar with the plot

Also Right off the bat, this is NOT the quintessential production of this s... Read more Read less

65
Confusing, Slow, Ambitious

See it if You must see everything by Sondheim. This seemed rushed and less impactful. I admire the songwriting though.

Don't see it if You expect top notch singing. I was sitting near the front and most of the cast sang flat and sometimes off key.

Also Brittany Bradford was the standout performer for me with excellent act... Read more Read less

79
Clever, Banal, Exquisite, Disappointing, Great songs

See it if You love Sondheim. You enjoy his music. You enjoy good friends on life's journey. College dreams lived out.

Don't see it if You hate Sondheim, you like a straight forward story, do not like time jumping.

88
Great staging, Great singing, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You love classic Sondheim. You are interested in how friendships fall apart.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals.

85
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like Sondheim’s brand of wistful with an edge.

Don't see it if You don’t like shows about show biz or real-world disillusionment of youthful idealism.

Also I seem to see this show at different stages of my life, having a diffe... Read more Read less

91
Great singing, Incredible scenic design, Clever

See it if you are a Sondheim fan and want to see one of his "flops" done well. This stripped down version was entertaining. Clever music and lyrics.

Don't see it if you are looking for a more traditional show or would have trouble following the reverse chronology

Also I love anything Sondheim, so I may be biased, but I thought this was a... Read more Read less

96
Resonant, Intelligent, Great staging, Delightful, Sondheim

See it if Simply Sondheim. Ignore the critics and see for yourself. It’s perfectly crafted and well executed. Don’t overthink it, it makes sense.

Don't see it if Believe that critics are always right.

79
Intelligent, Dated, Ambitious, Clever

See it if you want to see one of Sondheim's unsung and underrepresented works.

Don't see it if you need linear plots or aren't a fan of Sondheim's lyrical and musical style. This is Sondheim at his Sondheimiest.

77
Nostalgic

See it if Reflections on how adult responsibilities shape our lives, sometimes for the worse. Sondheim's music is always exquisite.

Don't see it if Plot ploy of moving backwards in time is too confusing. Smaller / lower budget set feels lackluster.

Also Ticket from HipTix for $25. Disclaimer: I’ve never experienced this mu... Read more Read less

76
Gorgeous score, Ambitious, Stripped down, Inconsistent

See it if you haven't seen Merrily before. It's such a beautiful piece of theater. Some aspects worked for me in this production, others not so much.

Don't see it if you don't like stripped down, minimalist staging. I'm not sure this is the best work for Fiasco's aesthetic. Acting better than the singing.

Also I fell in love with this show when Encores did it in 2012. I missed th... Read more Read less


February 19th, 2019
"Not so much stripped-down as emaciated. All of the contrasts of idealism and greed, gloss and substance so central to the story’s effectiveness are flattened under the pressure of forcing it to stand without enough legs...The songs, with all their polish removed, no longer reflect the coherent B...
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February 19th, 2019
“Fiasco’s earnest love for the material is evident...And the cumulative effect is…pretty good. Despite an abundance of appealing parts, this 'Merrily' doesn’t quite come together into a real gut-punch of a whole. There’s much that’s nice some that’s very funny, and a bit that’s beautiful, yet the...
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February 19th, 2019
“The latest effort to crack the ‘Merrily’ code...Only half-works...Fiasco looked at the 1930s source play, four versions of the Merrily scripts and archival material provided by Sondheim himself...The result is very smooth and the reverse narration works very well...Unfortunately, the performance...
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February 19th, 2019
“This cast brims with nerve, energy and overreach...Though in this production...Brody has a keen eye for revelatory details that perk up scenes and deepen characters...Both Narayan and Steinfeld have the strongest voices in the cast and deliver on their numbers big time...Vocally, the rest of the...
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Cast & Creatives (16)