In March, New York Times reviewer Ben Brantley swooned over a spanking new London production of the 1980 Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical “Merrily We Roll Along,” calling it a “heart-clutching revival.”
Heck, forget about Brantley. Let’s go straight to the source: Sondheim himself (cue heavenly choirs and godlike descent from on high as the master addresses we mere musical-theater mortals) announced after taking in the show that it was the best “Merrily” he had ever seen.
With raves like that, you’d figure it’d be a no-brainer to move the show to New York, right? But the Times reports that while various Broadway producers saw the show in London and admired it, there are no plans for a transfer.
But New Yorkers — and even those of us in the theater hinterlands — will still get a chance to experience the show. It’s being screened nationwide at 460 theaters — including at Edwards in Fresno — 7 p.m. Wednesday. The one-night cinema event will also feature 20 minutes of exclusive backstage content including interviews with cast, crew and special guests.
It’s an example of technology expanding the audience for an acclaimed theater event that probably will never be seen otherwise outside London. (And plane tickets to London are expensive.)
In his rave of the show, Sondheim called it “one of those rare instances where casting, direction and show come together in perfect combination, resulting in the classic ideal of the sum being greater than the parts.” Sounds like a great reason to make a trip to Edwards on a Wednesday night.