Merrily We Roll Along [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

Merrily We Roll Along [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

by Stephen Sondheim



Songwriter Stephen Sondheim and librettist George Furth's 1981 musical Merrily We Roll Along, based on the 1934 George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play was, like its predecessor, more of a critical success, at least over time, than a popular one. In fact, with a run of only 16 performances, the musical was an outright flop, the worst commercial failure in Broadway's leading composer's career since Anyone Can Whistle ran nine performances in 1964. The reasons may have been several, the most significant one perhaps being the same backwards structure adopted by the play (each scene takes place earlier in time than the one before it), which intrigued critics but tended to leave audiences confused and disengaged. Other reasons may have included the casting of young unknowns and the low-key staging and costumes, which consisted largely of sweatshirts. Then there was the plot, which concerned an idealistic young playwright (in the play) or composer (in the musical) who becomes jaded during the course of the story, except of course that in this telling he starts out jaded and becomes idealistic. In any case, the reason why the musical was remembered after those 16 performances and revived several times was Sondheim's score, which is one of his best. Writing from personal knowledge and covering the time period of his own career (1955-1980), Sondheim composed some of his most moving love songs ("Not a Day Goes By," "Good Thing Going") and some of his wittiest patter songs ("Franklin Shepard, Inc.," "Bobby and Jackie and Jack") in a collection that held together extraordinarily well. That young cast turned out to have some budding talents including Lonny Price, who went on to a successful career as a stage director and Jason Alexander, who starred on-stage (Jerome Robbins' Broadway) before achieving national television fame on Seinfeld. This is one of those cast albums, like House of Flowers or Anyone Can Whistle, that makes the listener marvel that the stage production could have failed when the music is so wonderful.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Rca
UPC: 0078635584028
catalogNumber: 5840

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stephen Sondheim   Primary Artist,Lyre,Track Performer
Trio   Track Performer
Tom Shea   cast
Ted   Track Performer
Bernadette Peters   Track Performer
Joe   Track Performer
Seymour Barab   Performing Ensemble
John Beal   Performing Ensemble
Beth   Track Performer
John Campo   Performing Ensemble
Tom Fay   Performing Ensemble
Frank   Track Performer
David Gale   Performing Ensemble
Jack Gale   Performing Ensemble
Paul Gemignani   Conductor
Paul Ingraham   Performing Ensemble
Steve Johns   Performing Ensemble
Mary   Track Performer
Charles McCracken   Performing Ensemble
John Moses   Performing Ensemble
Harriet Orenstein   Performing Ensemble
Scott   Performing Ensemble
Alan Shulman   Performing Ensemble
Edward Strauss   Performing Ensemble
Roger Wendt   Performing Ensemble
Liz Callaway   cast
Terry   Track Performer
Clarissa Howell   Performing Ensemble
Avron Coleman   Performing Ensemble
Gary Stevens   cast
Charley   Track Performer
Paul Pizzuti   Performing Ensemble
David Loud   Performing Ensemble,cast
Charles Millard   Performing Ensemble
Nick Cerrato   Performing Ensemble
Steven Jacob   cast
Daisy Prince   cast
Ann Morrison   cast
Irving Berger   Performing Ensemble
Donna Marie Elio   cast
Marianna Allen   cast
Robert Ayers   Performing Ensemble
David Shine   cast
David Cady   cast
Tonya Pinkins   cast
John X. Reed   Performing Ensemble
Lonny Price   cast
Terry Finn   cast
James Bonkovsky   cast
Giancarlo Esposito   cast
Geoffrey Horne   cast
Paul Hyams   cast
Sally Klein   cast
George Maniere   Performing Ensemble
Forest D. Ray   cast
Clark Sayre   cast
Steve Uscher   Performing Ensemble
Maryrose Wood   cast
Orchestra   Track Performer
Jim Walton   cast

Technical Credits

Stephen Sondheim   Composer,Liner Notes
Eddie Cantor   Composer
Didier C. Deutsch   Reissue Coordinator
Paul Gemignani   Musical Director
Paul Goodman   Engineer
Johnny Hartman   Composer
Jay David Saks   Producer
Jonathan Tunick   Orchestration
Thomas Z. Shepard   Producer
J.J. Stelmach   Art Direction
Darcy Proper   Reissue Coordinator
Robert Kimball   Liner Notes
Roxanne Slimak   Art Direction

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