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  Merrily We Roll Along at Ruth Page Center For Arts

Merrily We Roll Along

Ruth Page Center For Arts
1016 N. Dearborn Pkwy Chicago

Set over three decades of friendship and business, the landmark musical Merrily We Roll Along charts the highs and lows of a relationship among three very close friends. Starting from adulthood and traveling back in time to the idealistic intentions of youth, this powerful and emotionally moving story of looking at your life from the vantage point of having lived it features some of Stephen Sondheim's best known songs including "Good Thing Going," "Not a Day Goes By" and "Old Friends."

Thru - Mar 17, 2018



Price: $33 - $60

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 312-337-6453

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

www.porchlightmusictheatre.org


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  Merrily We Roll Along Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...The show's point - made over and over in some of Sondheim's most devastating lyrics - is that life beats the nice out of you, especially a life in an overcrowded profession where your opportunity is someone else's loss. This long has been a show loved by creative types for just that reason. I once watched Sondheim at an event attended by pushy, well-to-do folks who wanted to talk to him and in whom he had absolutely no interest: all of his decades of upset and frustration at that perennial requirement of the artist's life under capitalism was emptied directly into this music and these lyrics. This is a takedown of backers, producers, board members, sycophantic socialites, hangers-on, hangers-off, and, yes, he reserves a special place in his hell for critics."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...If you plan to see just one musical this winter - and you are fearless enough to face up to the truth about the nature of success and failure, youth and age, love and resentment, loyalty and betrayal, and change of every kind - "Merrily We Roll Along" is the one to choose. It is for adults. And in many ways it is without parallel."
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Hedy Weiss


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Through the showbiz careers of three friends (Neala Barron, Matt Crowle, and Jim DeSelm), Sondheim ruminates on how the forces of financial success, critical recognition, and creative camaraderie work with and against one another over the span of an artistic lifetime. A growing pain yet to be addressed: on-the-nose but low-resolution, aughts-looking projection design, which feels like wrapping an exquisite piece of jewelry in a crinkled Burger King bag."
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Dan Jakes


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The current production, “Merrily We Roll Along” is based on the play written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart of 1934 (this will be presented on 2/21 at 7:30-see www.PorchlightMusicTheatre.org). Inspired by the story of the original, Sondheim did the music and lyrics and had George Furth write the book to tell the story of three incredibly close friends and their relationship in both business and friendship over 30 years. What is incredible about this story-telling adventure is that it is told “backwards”."
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Alan Bresloff


NewCity Chicago - Not Recommended

"...When Stephen Sondheim’s 1981 musical “Merrily We Roll Along” screeched onto Broadway it was met with the kind of heavy criticism that resulted in a meager sixteen performances, cementing its place in Broadway history as Sondheim’s greatest flop. The production at Porchlight does nothing to redeem this tired, masturbatory ode to Sondheim’s ego."
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Emma Couling


Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Once again Porchlight Music Theatre has pulled out all the stops and brought Chicago a magical production of a show that many theatergoers will be enjoying for the first time. For those musical aficionados, this will be a bittersweet blast from the past and a rare opportunity to see this masterpiece cult musical performed live in the Windy City."
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Colin Douglas


Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...For those who aren’t familiar with the revised musical ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ based on the book by George Furth with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, prepare yourselves for a wide range of emotions while observing the lives of three close-knit friends over many decades."
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Francine Pappadis Friedman


The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...Porchlight masterfully merrily rolls this one out. Director Michael Weber has cast solid principals in DeSelm, Barron, and Crowle. Through song and banter, the trio deliver honest and poignant portrayals of their characters’ transformations. The vivacious Vasquez, perky Aja Wiltshire (Beth) and huge cracker-jack ensemble keep us tethered to the ever-moving story. This was my first experience with MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG. Knowing the end, makes me want to see it from the beginning again. So many lives. So many stories intertwined. Decades of storytelling. Porchlight is the perfect company to stage this mega theatrical spectacle of drama meets musical. While we watch the years fly by in fashion, we entertainingly learn from Franklin Shephard’s mistakes. MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG is a musical cautionary tale of living your truth."
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Katy Walsh


Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Recommended

"...Jazzy tunes, big brains, big hearts: maybe Frank, Charley, and Mary can harmonize, after all, and Porchlight gives them the freedom, night after night, to try and get it right. “Almost right” is just right."
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Patrick O'Brien


Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...In the long list of masterpieces Stephen Sondheim has given us, Merrily We Roll Along will likely never be known as his best (because that’s Company, obviously). But Porchlight’s production does the work good, infusing the show with a wit and energy that will have you humming along by curtain call."
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Lisa Trifone


Chicago On Stage - Recommended

"...Since Stephen Sondheim is generally viewed as one of the great Broadway composers of all time, with shows as popular and well-regarded as Company, Sunday In the Park With George, A Little Night Music, Follies, and Into the Woods, it is often fascinating to examine one of his shows that was a certifiable flop, for even they are often great examples of what a musical can be. One such show is Merrily We Roll Along. The first show Sondheim composed after the brilliant Sweeney Todd, Merrily ran only sixteen nights on Broadway in 1982. It was enough to receive a Tony Nomination for Best Score, but the show seemed destined to fade into obscurity until a 1994 re-written revival rekindled interest in it. Still not considered one of the composer's best shows, the musical, as it does in Porchlight Music Theatre's current stellar production, is still capable of providing its audience with a glorious evening at the theatre."
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Karen Topham


Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...Like a backwards running time machine, Merrily We Roll Along takes us on a journey back in time to show us how a famous Hollywood filmmaker (Franklin Shephard played by Jim DeSelm) got to where he ended up, and the relationships littering his road to success like road kill along the way. It’s a classic story about youthful dreams, ambition and drive, and how bonds can fray on the climb to the top. At the end of his life, Franklin finds himself upended by getting to the top of the mountain and then wondering if it was worth the effort."
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Amy Munice


  Merrily We Roll Along Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.


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