Why We’re Excited for the Revival of the Broadway Musical, ‘Merrily We Roll Along!’

The revival of the 1981 musical, Merrily We Roll Along is officially on Broadway as of October 10, 2023. Here are the many reasons why we are so excited about the musical!

The musical started previews on September 19, 2023, and dominated the Broadway box office with its first week of previews, according to the Broadway News.

The Cast

It has an all-star cast in this 2023 revival. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Jonathan Groff (Hamilton), and Lindsay Mendez (Carousal) are starring in this production and all three are reprising their roles from the Off-Broadway production that ran from November to January of last year. Radcliffe is playing Charley Kringas Groff is playing Frank Shephard and Mendez finishes off the trio and is starring as Mary Flynn.

Sondheim Musical

This is a semi-autobiological musical of Stephen Sondheim’s life. Sondheim is known for reinventing the American musical and is a critical figure in the musical theatre world. It centers on the lives of three friends and how their friendship changes over the course of 20 years. In 1981, the musical opened up on Broadway, but its run was very short-lived as it received negative reviews, however, Sondheim received a 1982 Tony nomination for Best Original Score. Over the years there have been various revivals and this production as previously stated originally ran as an Off-Broadway production at the New York Theatre Workshop. This marks the first time the show will be on Broadway since its original run.

Reviews of the Show

The reviews are in for the Broadway musical and critics are praising the show! The Washington Post said, “This Broadway incarnation will be both a hit and a reflection of the higher aspirations of musical theater. It’s even tighter, funnier, and more touching than what Friedman staged off-Broadway.”  USA Today said, “Part of what makes the show so overwhelmingly emotional is that it transports us back to a more idealistic age: when possibilities seemed endless, friends were forever, and hopes weren’t yet dashed by life’s realities.” In addition, Playbill has said that the Sondheim revival has become a top grosser with $1.2 million even after comping performances around the opening. 

Musical Film Adaptation

In 2019, it was confirmed that this musical would be heading to the big screens! The director, Richard Linklater planned to film the musical over the course of two decades to actually recreate the long-term friendship that we see on stage. Ben Platt who is known for playing the title role of the popular musical Dear Evan Hansen is slated to be Charley Kringas. Paul Mescal, who will be portraying Frank Shephard, rose to fame for the character Connell in the television series, Normal People. Beanie Feldstein, known for films such as the 2019 coming-of-age, Booksmart, will be playing Mary Flynn. Sadly fans will have to wait for this one, but it will be worth the wait!

The show is running now through March 24, 2024. Click here to buy tickets.

About the Author

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Jolee Levitin

Jolee Levitin is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying journalism and minoring in the media and entertainment industries. She is an intern with AfterBuzz TV and the Heal Squad. She loves anything Disney-related, binge-watching new TV shows, and going to see the newest Broadway shows in New York City.