Lin-Manuel Miranda Joins Cast of Encores! Merrily We Roll Along

News   Lin-Manuel Miranda Joins Cast of Encores! Merrily We Roll Along
Tony Award-winning In the Heights author and star Lin-Manuel Miranda has joined the cast of the City Center Encores! production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along, which will kick off the 19th season of the series Feb. 8, 2012.

Miranda will play the role of Charley Kringas. The Tony winner told the New York Times, "I basically was asked by Steve Sondheim, 'Would you be interested in this? I know you're more a writer but think of it as a favor,' which is insane because it is one of the greatest parts ever and Steve is still understating his demi-god status in this industry we work in."

Miranda earned the 2008 Tony Award for Best Score to In the Heights, which also took the Tony for Best Musical. Miranda earned a Best Actor Tony nomination as well. He is currently represented with the musical Bring It On, which just launched a national tour in Los Angeles.

James Lapine, who directed an earlier revised version of Merrily at La Jolla Playhouse in 1985, will return to the property as director of the concert version of the 1981 commercial flop that is a favorite among Sondheim fans. (There had been talk in recent seasons that Lapine might direct Merrily on Broadway.) Dan Knechtges will provide musical staging.

The cast will be headed by the previously reported Colin Donnell (Anything Goes) as songwriter Franklin Shepard, Celia Keenan-Bolger (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as magazine writer Mary Flynn, Betsy Wolfe (Tales of the City) as Franklin's wife Beth and Elizabeth Stanley (Million Dollar Quartet) as Gussie Carnegie, the star of Franklin Shepard and Charley Kringas' first Broadway hit.

Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, "is a musical about friendship and the compromise of youthful ideals, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart," according to Encores! notes. "Merrily We Roll Along begins in 1980 and moves backward in time, from 1980-1955, telling the story of three friends whose friendship is tested by time, events, ambition and fate. It charts the rise of a songwriting team during the years of Sondheim's own early career, and includes some of his most brilliant and bruising songs." The score includes "Not a Day Goes By," "Old Friends," "Our Time" and "Opening Doors." The officially licensed script is the 1985 rewrite. Performances will play Feb. 8-19, 2012. Rob Berman is musical director of Encores!

For tickets visit the City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th avenues), call CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or online at Tickets start at $25.

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