Merrily We Roll Along
Closed 1h 45m
Merrily We Roll Along
78

Merrily We Roll Along NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(329 Reviews)
Positive
84%
Mixed
14%
Negative
2%
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.

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Member Reviews (329)

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975 Reviews | 341 Followers
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.

1048 Reviews | 254 Followers
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.

712 Reviews | 215 Followers
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.

708 Reviews | 155 Followers
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

MJK
677 Reviews | 189 Followers
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). Read more

697 Reviews | 106 Followers
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. Read more

534 Reviews | 132 Followers
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. Read more

470 Reviews | 113 Followers
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.

Critic Reviews (37)

The New York Times
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 Broadway world of the story...Often radically reconceived, harshly truncated or left to dribble away, they no longer ennoble the characters or provide much pleasure for the audience."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
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 show’s emotional power feels blunted and its aesthetic suspended somewhere between minimalist and maximalist. There’s no shortage of spirit on offer, but visceral oomph is elusive.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
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 performances are not always up to snuff...By the end, which is the beginning, this neat, tidy ‘Merrily’ feels merely like a stopgap production as we await the inevitable next staging of this gloriously messy show.”
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Variety
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 cast just isn’t up to the task. And while some details of the script are enhanced in the staging and the playing, others are diminished.”
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AM New York
February 19th, 2019

“A satisfying scaled-down revival...It may not be the definitive ‘Merrily’, and anyone familiar with the show will probably miss its dynamic original orchestrations and smashing overture...Vocally underpowered and underpopulated. But on the whole...theatrically effective, smart and emotionally wrenching...Most critical to its success, the production brings to the forefront the three-way friendship of Frank, Mary and Charley and conveys the overwhelming insecurity of every character.”
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NY1
February 19th, 2019

"Under the seamless direction of Noah Brody, it's largely a success...Sondheim’s score, thanks to a terrific eight-piece band, sounds beautiful as ever with lyrics that paint the most detailed portraits in a single verse. If the performers don’t all have the most trained voices, they are first-rate actors who deliver each song with great clarity and naturalism. Some problems remain; the dialogue can sound stilted...But so strong is this company, we hardly notice the book’s flaws now."
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Theatermania
February 19th, 2019

“Fiasco Theater's new production is ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ as Frankenstein's Monster...The problems lie with the cast, who don't have the pipes to successfully articulate Sondheim's beautiful melodies, or the acting texture to grab at the emotions...This ‘Merrily’ prioritizes acting over singing, and it comes at the expense of the score. But even still, not all of the performances are up to the task of sustaining the emotional tension needed."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 26th, 2019

“This vest-pocket production by Fiasco Theater does get some things right...Still, there's little getting around the fact that ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ is overwrought to the point of soap opera...This production is largely inhabited by actors with no real musical theatre skills...They seem to have few ideas about phrasing, breath control, or how to shape a number...Under Brody's broad play-to-the-rafters direction, the cast often seems lumbered by the shortcomings of Furth's writing.”
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