Theater News

Merrily We Roll Along Wins Best Revival Tony, Completing 40-Year Redemption Arc

The original production closed in two weeks. Now, it’s a hit.

Lindsay Mendez, Jonathan Groff, and Daniel Radcliffe in Merrily We Roll Along
(© Matthew Murphy)

Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along has won the 2024 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, completing a four-decade redemption arc for the musical, which originally closed after 44 previews and 16 performances in 1981.

The original production of Merrily, which ran at the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon), was such a fraught experience that effectively ended the longtime professional partnership between composer Sondheim and director Harold Prince. In the ensuing years, the show has been redeemed little by little after various rewrites. Off-Broadway revivals took place in 1994 and 2019; it got the New York City Center Encores! treatment in 2012; and the 2000 London premiered won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Maria Friedman directed a revival of the musical at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory in 2012, which transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre in 2013. That production, and a later staging at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, served as the basis for this current revival, which debuted at New York Theatre Workshop in 2022, before moving to the Hudson Theatre on Broadway last year. It will end its hit run on July 7.

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