A few more names have been added to the company of Merrily We Roll Along, one of the six Stephen Sondheim musicals that comprise the Kennedy Center's Sondheim Celebration, which began May 10 with Sweeney Todd. Joining the previously announced Raul Esparza (Charley), Miriam Shor (Mary), Emily Skinner (Gussie), Michael Hayden (Franklin) and Anastasia Barzee (Beth) are Adam Heller as Joe, Sean McLaughlin as Terry, Jason Gilbert as talk-show host Alex, Peggy Yates as Gwen Wilson, Ty Hreben as Mr. Spencer, Sherri Edelen as Mrs. Spencer, Tracey Lynn Olivera as the Valedictorian and Mary Jane Raleigh as one of the girls auditioning. Casting for a few minor roles have yet to be announced for the production, which begins performances on July 12.
Based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Merrily We Roll Along features a score by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth. Concerning the lives of three friends — composer Franklin Shepard, lyricist Charley Kringas and writer Mary Flynn — the musical is told backwards in time and boasts such classic Sondheim tunes as "Like It Was," "Not a Day Goes By," "Good Thing Going," "Now You Know," "Our Time" and "Old Friends." The musical bowed on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on Nov. 16, 1981, where it ran for only 16 performances. The original cast included Jim Walton, Ann Morrison, Lonny Price, Terry Finn, Jason Alexander, Tonya Pinkins, Daisy Prince and Liz Callaway.
Christopher Ashley — who helmed the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show — directs the Kennedy Center Merrily, one of the six Sondheim musicals being offered this spring and summer. The other five titles: Company, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, Passion and A Little Night Music. Tickets for Merrily range from $29-$79 and can be purchased by calling (800) 444-1324. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located in Washington, D.C., at 2700 F. Street. For more information, go to www.kennedy-center.org.