Spokane Civic Theatre’s “Merrily We Roll Along”


Directors and cast discuss the challenging Sondheim musical and perform two songs

Joel Cummings, David Hardie, Jean Hardie, Henry McNulty and Kalla Mort joined E.J. Iannelli in the KPBX studio to talk about the Spokane Civic Theatre’s new production of the Stephen Sondheim–George Furth musical Merrily We Roll Along, which opens on Friday for an exclusive one-weekend run.

Jean Hardie is directing this show; McNulty is its music director. Cummings, David Hardie and Mort are playing the core trio of friends, Frank, Charlie and Mary, respectively. Frank is a famous but flawed composer and film producer, Charlie is a lyricist and playwright, and Mary is an embittered film critic. The musical follows their friendship from its dissolution to their younger, idealistic days.

Hardie began by talking about the tricky reverse chronology of Merrily We Roll Along, which opens in 1976 and moves backwards in stages to 1957. The actors then discussed “Old Friends,” the song they performed to open the interview, and how it encapsulates their characters’ relationship.

McNulty spoke to the charms and complexities of Sondheim’s songbook as well as the composer’s skill in using the vernacular of musical theater to evoke different time periods and styles, occasionally with deliberate irony.

Cast member Amy D’orazi was also on hand to perform the song “Not a Day Goes By” alongside Cummings and Mort.

Merrily We Roll Along opens at the Spokane Civic Theatre this weekend for a three-day run (Jan. 5–7).

Tickets and more information are available at the Civic’s website or by calling the box office on (509) 325-2507.

Photo: E.J. Iannelli