Legendary American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s masterwork Merrily We Roll Along is revisited in a new production under the direction of Tony Award nominee Michael Arden (Spring Awakening) set for the Bram Goldsmith Theater stage at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts from November 23 through December 18. Five-time Emmy Award winner Wayne Brady (Broadway’s Kinky Boots), Obie and Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award nominee Saycon Sengbloh (Broadway’s Eclipsed), Whitney Bashor (Broadway’s The Bridges of Madison County), Aaron Lazar (Broadway’s The Light in the Piazza, The Last Ship), Ovation Award nominee Amir Talai (What To Expect When You’re Expecting; Pasadena Playhouse’s Can-Can and The Fantasticks) and Donna Vivino (Broadway’s original company of Les Misérables as “Young Cosette”) lead the talented ensemble cast. Merrily We Roll Along is co-produced by The Wallis and Cody Lassen, and is made possible by the generous support from the Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Family Foundation and Montage Beverly Hills.
“It was refreshing to spend time with Michael and the Merrily team during the casting of a company comprised of such extraordinarily talented actors,” said Paul Crewes, The Wallis’ Artistic Director. “This LA production genuinely reflects the diversity of America in 2016. It is one of the enlightened ways that we are approaching this great work.”
“I’m so happy to be working with this exceptional cast on my first production as The Wallis’ Artist-in-Residence, sharing what many consider to be Sondheim’s most beautiful show and score,” said Director Michael Arden. “I’m looking forward to seeing Los Angeles audiences, both young and old, connect with these special characters on their journey backwards from adults to teenagers.”
The ensemble includes Eric B. Anthony, Sandy Bainum, Melody Butiu, Doran Butler, Max Chucker, Sarah Daniels, Laura Dickinson, Kevin Patrick Doherty, Rachael Ferrera, Jennifer Foster, Travis Leland, Lyle Colby Mackston, Brent Schindele and Maximus Brandon Verso.
With music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by George Furth, Merrily We Roll Along tells the powerful and moving story of a composer’s idealism and friendships, corrupted by success, in an emotionally charged journey through the lives of three friends. Told backwards, this rarely-staged musical begins with the disillusioned present, travelling in time throughout seven different periods, and ending with the friends’ optimistic early years. Based on the Kaufman and Hart play, Merrily We Roll Along features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful and at times haunting songs including, “Good Thing Going,” “Our Time,” “Old Friends” and “Not a Day Goes By.” Initially presented on Broadway in 1981, it ran for 52 previews and only 16 performances before quickly closing. That production is now the subject of a new documentary film, Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened opening in theaters in November.
Single tickets for Merrily We Roll Along are now available for $29 – $110. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org/Merrily, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.