30 Musicals in 30 Days: Long Time No See

Post a song from a musical that you haven’t listened to (or seen) in a while.

There are many of these. Which should I choose? I think I’ll go with Merrily We Roll Along, the musical flop that basically ended the till then unfaltering collaboration between Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince until they briefly came together during the development of the musical that would become Road Show. People have different opinions on why Merrily We Roll Along didn’t work in 1981. The score is almost universally acknowledged to be fantastic, so that is rarely cited as the reason. Some people blame the book, either because of its structure or because of some perception of its overall quality. Well, sure, perhaps the book wasn’t all it could be, but its not bad enough for the show to have been the kind of flop it was. The blame, I’m afraid, lies chiefly on Harold Prince who himself has admitted in interviews that the show stumped him. Looking at video material that exists of the original production, it’s clear that this is true. A pity – although a time will come, I hope, when a major revival of this show gives it the success it deserves.

The clip isn’t of the best quality, but it is from the original production – a number now excised from the score, “Rich and Happy”:

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