The 2016 documentary Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened—a behind-the-scenes look into the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along—will be released on streaming platforms next month via Atlas MediaCorp. Watch the trailer above.
Starting May 23, the film will be available for rent or purchase on all major video-on-demand platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon, VUDU, Vimeo on Demand, Google Play, and YouTube Movies. Some sites are offering pre-ordering before the premiere date.
Lonny Price, who co-starred as lyricist Charley Kringas in the original production, directed and co-produced the film, which features interviews with Sondheim, director Harold Prince, and Price's original co-stars, Ann Morrison and Jim Walton, among others. Kitt Lavoie is credited as scriptwriter.
“After its amazing premiere at the New York Film Festival—which featured a revealing talkback with Stephen Sondheim, unfortunately one of his last—and following its successful theatrical run and its exclusive run on Netflix, we are proud to release the film wide, simultaneously on all video-on-demand platforms,” says Atlas President and Executive Producer Bruce David Klein. “This move was driven by extremely passionate fans of the film who’ve been lobbying us for years to make the film available widely.”
The innovative musical is based on a 1934 George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play about a group of friends and the compromises they make (or don't) in their pursuit of success. Both the play and the musical used the unusual device of starting in the present and moving backwards in time with each scene toward the characters’ idealistic past.
Merrily ran just 44 previews and 16 regular performances at the Alvin Theatre. The film's title is drawn from a lyric in the show: “The best thing that ever could have happened.” Despite the musical’s short run, the cast album is treasured by fans, and several songs from Sondheim's Tony-nominated score have become standards, including ”Old Friends” and “Not a Day Goes By. ”
A Broadway revival, based on the recent acclaimed Off-Broadway production, will arrive at the Hudson Theatre this fall.