Merrily We Roll Along

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by George Furth. Little Triangle. The Depot Theatre, Marrickville. March 7 – 24, 2018.

Photo : Clare Hawley

In 2017, Stage Whispers editor Neil Litchfield wrote of Little Triangle’s production of Sunday in the Park with George: “Little Triangle’s potential for presenting quality small-scale musical theatre on a shoe-string is one of the most exciting things to happen in Sydney’s indie Music Theatre scene.”

I know he was sorry to miss opening night of this, their second production, but I’m happy it gave me the chance to see this precision-paced production that pays vibrant homage to the unique vocal rhythms, musical juxtapositions and real characters that are distinctly Sondheim.

One of the least performed of Sondheim’s works, Merrily We Roll Along opened on Broadway in November 1981 – and closed after only sixteen performances. Yet its music, and its story, resound theatricality. It reviews the professional and personal life of composer and musical producer Franklin Shepard and his best friends, lyricist Charley Kringas and writer, Mary Flynn. As it takes the audience backwards in time from 1976 to 1957, it compares the disappointments and dilemmas of adulthood with the hope and idealism of youth.

The intimate nature of the Depot Theatre and a talented and committed cast allow director Alexander Andrews to make Sondheim’s characters reach powerfully into to the audience, sharing their despair and their joy in carefully drilled choreography and clear, beautifully blended, microphone-free voices, in collaboration with musical director Conrad Hamill on strings and pianist Antonio Fernandez.

All seventeen performers work seamlessly together in carefully structured choreography and ….

Continue with the rest of the review in Stage Whispers magazine, here.