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Director Maria Friedman On The Long Journey Of 'Merrily We Roll Along'07:13
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Maria Friedman directs the Huntington Theatre Company's production of "Merrily We Roll Along." (Courtesy Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots)
Maria Friedman directs the Huntington Theatre Company's production of "Merrily We Roll Along." (Courtesy Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots)
This article is more than 2 years old.

The songs of composer Stephen Sondheim are part of America's cultural DNA: the soundtracks from "West Side Story," "Sweeney Todd" and "Gypsy." But his music runs through the veins of a British star of musical theater, Maria Friedman.

And one of Sondheim's lesser-known works stands out for her most of all: "Merrily We Roll Along." It's a story about three young friends whose lives are linked through the decades. It's about youth and promise, loyalty and disappointment. And it spans the Kennedy era, Vietnam and the introductions of the pill and the answering machine.

"Merrily" opened on Broadway in 1981. It closed after 16 performances. A decade later, the show was revived in out-of-the-way Leicester, England, where Friedman starred in it. Twenty years after that, she directed a new incarnation in London and it was a massive hit. Now, Friedman's production has come to the U.S. through Boston's Huntington Theatre Company.

Friedman watched it from the audience Wednesday night and then spoke to WBUR's All Things Considered host, Lisa Mullins, about it.


"Merrily We Roll Along" runs through Oct. 15 at the Huntington Avenue Theatre. Maria Friedman performs in a one-night only concert of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's music dubbed "Lenny & Steve" on Monday, Sept. 18. 

This segment aired on September 15, 2017.

Related:

Lynn Jolicoeur Twitter Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.

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Lisa Mullins Twitter Host, All Things Considered
Lisa Mullins is the voice of WBUR’s All Things Considered. She anchors the program, conducts interviews and reports from the field.

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