Menier Chocolate Factory May Produce Road Show and Merrily We Roll Along

News   Menier Chocolate Factory May Produce Road Show and Merrily We Roll Along
Tony Award-winning La Cage aux Folles producer and Menier Chocolate Factory artistic director David Babani has Stephen Sondheim on his mind. Two musicals penned by the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-lyricist may get the Menier treatment.
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim

Babani told that the Menier is hoping to continue its Sondheim involvement. In previous years, the small London theatre brought new life to Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George, in a coup de théâtre incorporating video, and recently revisited an intimate A Little Night Music under the direction of Trevor Nunn. Both productions transferred to Broadway and garnered Tony nominations. Menier's revival of Jerry Herman's La Cage won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

"We are looking at doing a production of Road Show next year, if all goes to plan," Babani said. The chamber musical about the eccentric American Mizner brothers, featuring a book by John Weidman, debuted at the Public Theater in 2008.

"The year after that, we're looking to do a production of Merrily We Roll Along, which Maria Friedman would direct for us, which would be thrilling," he added. Considered one of the U.K.'s major Sondheim interpreters, Friedman appeared in the West End production of the musical about three ambitious friends whose story unfolds from end to beginning (George Furth authored the book). She is also a veteran of the original London productions of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George and Passion.

Also on the Menier plate would be a play by Top Girls playwright Caryl Churchill in fall 2010. "We've never done a Caryl Churchill play at the Chocolate Factory, so it'll be great to work with her," Babani said.

Babani cautioned, "Nothing is set in stone. But we're working very hard to try and firm those up as quickly as possible."

You can read more of's interview with Babani in the upcoming Brief Encounter interview on June 26.

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