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Movie Mom

Tonight Only: Merrily We Roll Along from Sondheim/Furth/Kaufman/Hart

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight only — Fathom will make the legendary musical “Merrily We Roll Along” available in theaters across the country.

Set over three decades in the entertainment business, the story charts the relationship between three friends Franklin, Mary and Charley. Travelling backwards in time, this powerful and moving story features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including “Good Thing Going” and “Not a Day Goes By.” As an extra treat, cinema audiences will be treated to an exclusive backstage experience with cast interviews and more.

It began as a rare flop for George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the writing team behind many of the biggest box office successes of the middle 20th century, including “You Can’t Take It With You” (which became an Oscar-winning movie) and “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”  It was innovative because it presented the story in reverse order.  In the first scene, the characters are established show business figures, though not very happy.  Each succeeding scene takes us back in time as we see the characters make compromises and lose their innocence, until the final moments, when we see them as seniors graduating from college, filled with optimistic dreams.

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In 1981, writer/actor George Furth and composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim adapted it into a musical and again it was a financial failure, unlike their other collaboration, “Company.”  But it has been amended and revived to great success and this highly acclaimed London production should be very satisfying.

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