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Merrily We Roll Along (1993 Leicester Cast) Cast Recording
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Top Customer Reviews
While Sondheim and Furth have made a few minor revisions since the Leicester Haymarket production (mostly in shortening a few rhythms in the transitions, changing some introductory dialogue, and axing some dialogue in "It's a Hit!"), the Leicester recording is far superior to the recording of the final version of the show produced by Varese Sarabande.
CHANGES FROM THE ORIGINAL BROADWAY PRODUCTION:
Some neat concepts from the original production have been left by the wayside to improve the overall structure. Gone is the opening scene at the 1980 Lake Forest Academy graduation ceremony and the accompanying "The Hills of Tomorrow." The title song is now presented as a prologue so that the audience can concentrate on the lyrics' message. The music of the 1979 (now 1976) scene has been heavily revised (including a new melody called "That Frank") to integrate more plot into the lyrics. The 1975 scene has been eliminated, although Mary's music survives intact as the first part of an expanded 1973 scene. A great new song, "Growing Up," Frank's rationalizations for changing his goals and values, has been added to the 1968 scene. Beth now sings "Not a Day Goes By" in the 1966 (now 1967) scene instead of Frank.Read more ›
1. OVERTURE - In 1981 the Overture was a complete piece. In the revised version it cuts off midpoint and segues into the title song.
2. MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG - The original production began with Frank coming back to his former high school to mark 25 years since his graduation. His speech - a caution to the students to be prepared for compromise and frustration was challenged by the students who launched into the title song. As noted above, the revised version begins with the cast singing the song but without any context.
3. THAT FRANK/RICH AND HAPPY - The party scene. In the original Frank's new movie was terrible though none of the guests would tell him to his face. In the revised version the movie is a success. In THAT FRANK the party guests, Mary excepted, sing of Frank's seemingly endless talents.Read more ›
The performances are all wonderful. I enjoy Maria Friedman's work on here most of all. I can clearly hear her transformation from a depressed drunkard back to a hopeful youth through the recording. Her expressive voice and striking acting choices always make her a joy to even listen to.
This CD has the best orchestrations I have heard. The underscore to "Franklin Shepherd Inc" has finally been cleaned up to the point where it sounds like an actual song, and the overall feel of the show has a real edge.
The tempos are up and the performers sound like they don't have guns being held to their heads in the recording studio. The performances a lucid and dynamic. The overall feel of the show, for the first time, has a smooth and consistent feel just from listening to the recording.
This may not be my favorite piece of Sondheim, but it is his brassiest score. This quality, lost in the off-broadway recording, is really restored here.
This CD is personal treasure and a must for Sondheim fanatics. However, this recording is by far the most accesible recording of this most difficult show.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this recording after I saw a very poor amateur performance of Merrily: the quality of the music came through despite this, so I ordered this recording as I wanted to hear... Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by Anthony Westgate
I've never seen the show, which has had a mixed history (initially a flop, recently much more successful), so I can only rate the music, which is just fabulous. Read morePublished on September 18, 2002 by jjo
The Cast is spectacular in the performaces. Maria Friedman and Jackline Dankworth truely act AND sing their way through this masterpiece. Read morePublished on September 10, 1999
One of Sondheim's later works (after Company and Sweeney. The action starts at the end of the main characters life and works backwards. Read morePublished on September 30, 1998 by email@example.com