Viterbo University students will present the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts.
Beginning in the present and moving backwards, Merrily We Roll Along traces the lives of wealthy, jaded composer Franklin Shepard and his two estranged friends through each milestone of their personal and professional lives. The musical examines the themes of friendship, dreams, ambition, and the price of success that embodies the life and spirit of Hollywood and Broadway.
“‘How did you get to be here?’ starts the play,” said David Gardiner, Viterbo theatre and music theatre department faculty member and director of the production. “This is a musical which has great songs but is also strong in acting and theme. Sondheim has drawn on his own experiences and observations from a lifetime on Broadway. It is a musical which warns that the choices we make on the road to our success may prove too costly.”
The musical is based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The book by George Furth and music by Sondheim retain the basic structure and overall theme of the play. The musical ran on Broadway in 1981 and in 1982 won a Drama Desk Award and a Theatre World Award.
Gardiner is joined by fellow Viterbo faculty members Nancy Allen, Jeff Stolz, Kit Mayer, and Viterbo student Jon Woodruff, who are serving as the music director, costume designer, set design director, and choreography assistant, respectively. The production stars Viterbo students Connor Sullivan, Jon Woodruff, Kara Schultz, Taylor Haggerty, and Hunter Evenson.
Merrily We Roll Along is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019.
Tickets are $23 for main floor and $20 for balcony seating. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit www.viterbo.edu/tickets.