Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Merrily We Roll Along

Ainsley Melham, Andrew Coshan & Elise McCann in Merrily We Roll Along. Photo: Phil Erbacher

Who would have thought that a musical surrounding the inseparable friendship between three young people working in the world of showbiz could be the best night out in theatre, therapeutic even after three gruelling months at home in lockdown?

Mary, Charley and Frank meet and quickly become friends. A wannabe novelist, lyricist and composer respectively, they have high aspirations of ‘hitting the big time’. From humble beginnings they slowly build their careers but have different goals as how to reach the top.

But can the friendships survive? Friendships change, fade even and as one of the characters stated, “Friendships are like gardens you have to water and care for them.” Do we take our closest friendships for granted and only realise their importance once estranged? Are careers more significant than friendships?

This musical is based on the original play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. What may possibly be a first in theater, the story is told in reverse. The musical commences at the height of their success and moves backwards to their earliest days when the pivotal characters first meet.

Themes explored in what can best be described as a study of friendships include betrayal, humiliation, rejection, achieving and reshaping dreams and marital infidelity. Is this ultimately a portrayal of what really goes on behind the scenes in the ‘not so glamorous’ yet sought-after world of theater in order to reach the top?

A large and very talented cast on stage are headed by Ainsley Melham, Andrew Coshan and Elise McCann, three A-List actors who evidently have put so much energy and passion into their performances. Exquisite musical numbers, stylish staging, humorous scripting, a memorable musical score and an innovative and unique style of storytelling through video projection all compound to deliver an entertaining and mesmerising night out at the theater.

The opening night performance received a standing ovation and if the audience’s reaction is anything to go by, this outstanding production of Merrily We Roll Along should be a runaway box office hit. Perfect entertainment for anybody who enjoys good music, laughter and a magical night out at the theatre.

Not to be missed!

Until Dec 4. Hayes Theatre Co. 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point. $79-$89+b.f. Tickets & Info:

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