I had the delight of attending the APU Theater production of Merrily We Roll Along last evening. This play, directed by Dr. Monica Ganas, is based on a play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart and has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
The story begins in the 1970s and traces the life of wealthy composer Franklin Shepard (portrayed by Scott Kuiper) and his close friends Charley (Scott Arnold) and Mary (Claire Schuttler) through the milestones in their lives – in reverse. At the beginning of the show we see the way his choices have impacted his life and the lives of the people closest to him and as the story plays out in reverse, we see what led to the decisions he made – and how easy it can be to slide into a bad decision. It is a very visible reminder that our actions have consequences.
The ensemble cast did a marvelous job – in the difficult music of Sondheim, the dialogue, and the dancing. I was astonished to hear from Monica Ganas that the students had only been working on the production for a month – it truly is well done.
The production has some elements that are geared to a more mature audience – mature high school and older – as the dialogue relates a story-line with infidelity and the repercussion. That said, make every effort to see it! I have linked the calendar to the title for dates and times.