Merrily We Roll Along (Stage Production)

Louise Gold played Gussie, at The Leicester Haymarket, previews between 14 April - 9 May 1992 (Previews from the 10 April 2002).

The musical is notable for being "The show that goes backwards"

 

Cast

Mary - Maria Freidman

Frank Sheppard - Michael Cantwell

Gussie - Louise Gold

Charley - Evan Pappas

Joe - Gareth Snook

Beth - Jacqueline Dankworth

Waitress & Evelyn - Julie Armstrong

Terry & Minister - Jon Clairmonte

Meg - Lucy Dixon

K.T. - Kate Copstick

Ru - Phillip Day

Mrs Spencer - Michelle Fine

Bunker - Daniel Gillingwater

Make-up Artiste & Reporter - Deirdre Forrest

Scotty & Mr Spencer - Matthew White

Dory - Dwan Kastelle

Jerome - Phillip Wrigley

Dresser & Secretary - Karen Skinns

Tyler - Alan Mosley

Frank Jnr - Scott Bradley, Dominic Burr, Matthew Fraser

Party Guests, reporters, TV crew etc - played by members of the company.

 

Production Team

Music and Lyrics - Stephen Sondheim

Book - George Furth

Based on the original play by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart.

Directed and Staged by - Paul Kerryson

Designed by - Martin Johns

Orchestrations by - Jonathan Tunick

Musical Direction by - Julian Kelly

Lighting Designer - Chris Ellis

Sound - Shaun Knowles 

 

The cast of this production made a cast album recording of the songs, which is available as either a double CD or a single CD, the latter has also been produced on cassette.

It would seem likely that Sound person Shaun Knowles may also be the same person credited as Sound Operator Sean Knowles in The Cherry Orchard , but it is not known for sure.

It is perhaps worth noting that, with this being regional theatre, the productions three leading ladies: Maria Friedman, Louise Gold, and Jacqueline Dankworth, had to share a dressing room. Legend has it (well Ms Friedman and Ms Gold have both told the story in their respective one-woman shows, Maria Friedman By Special Arrangement and LOUISE GOLD ... By Appointment respectively) that on opening night the trio discovered that Stephen Sondheim had sent every actor in the company the SAME good luck card and message, namely: A photograph of himself which he had signed with the words ď...out of the entire cast you are by far the best.Ē

It is perhaps worth noting that in Merrily We Roll Along, Gareth Snookís character, Joe is that of a producer of Broadway Musicals. It turns out that in the same year that he played Joe in MWRA, Gareth Snook (along with the Queen of West End Musical Directors, Kate Young) produced a charity production of The Hired Man at The Palace Theatre in London, and more recently he worked as a producer on a production of The King Of Comedy.

Michael Cantwell, Louise Gold, Gareth Snook and Michelle Fine would be reunited later that year in another Stephen Sondheim musical Assassins

 

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Maria Friedman and Louise Gold had previously appeared together in Kids At Heart, they have gone on to appear together in: A Time To Start Living, and Sondheim At The Barbican. They also appeared separately in Chicago & Company, and may have appeared together in Will-Aid

Louise Gold and Michelle Fine were also reunited on the JAY/TER recording of Stop The World I Want To Get Off.

Louise Gold and Gareth Snook later appeared on the JAY/TER recording of On The Town and Anything Goes (recording) - Website Recommended Album.

Michael Cantwell, Louise Gold and Daniel Gillingwater were reunited several years later in One Touch Of Venus.

Louise Gold returned to The Leicester Haymarket theatre two and a half years later to head the cast (which included Alan Mosley) in Calamity Jane.

Louise Gold, Maria Friedman, Jacqueline Dankworth, Michael Cantwell, Kate Copstick, Lucy Dixon, and, Gareth Snook subsequently appeared on the JAY/TER recording of Cabaret.

Maria Friedmanís recording credits include The History Of The Musical

Julian Kellyís conducting can be heard on Simply Musicals, The Great Musicals - Wonderful Tales, The Great Musicals Ė Dashing Heroes, Blushing Maidens, and, The Best Of The Musicals.

Louise Gold under the direction of Paul Kerryson and the musical direction of Julian Kelly went on to appear in the Sondheim musical Follies: Follies

Orchestrator Jonathan Tunickís own conducting can be found on The Greatest Musicals of the 20th Century.

Louise Gold spoke about this show on Tim McArthur Interview.

Louise Gold has gone on to sing in the Side By Side By Sondheim 30th Anniversary Gala, in which Stephen Sondheim himself put in an appearance.

Lucy Dixon, and, Michelle Fine may have gone on to appear in Dear Ralph.

Jacqueline Dankworth, Maria Friedman, and, Louise Goldís recording credits include Centre Stage Showtime!, and, The Great Musicals - From Broadway to Hollywood.

Michael Cantwell, and, Louise Gold went on to appear in Mary Poppins, and as part of The Company Of Mary Poppins in a late night FUNdraising special.

Jacqueline Dankworthís recording credits include The Great Musicals Ė Laughter And Tears.

Jacqueline Dankworthís recording credits also include Magic Of The Musicals, on which Julian Kellyís conducting can also be found.

Gareth Snook, Jacqueline Dankworth, Evan Pappas, and, Deirdre Forrest may have previously taken part in Thing A Thon, which Maria Friedman was involved with.

Jacqueline Dankworth, Maria Friedman, and, Julian Kellyís recording credits include 100 Hits Musicals.

Louise Gold, and, Jacqueline Dankworthís recording credits include Letís Go On With The Show Ė Hit Songs From The West End & Broadway.

About six months after this production, Louise Goldís mother was appearing on the same stage in a play called Blood Wedding.

Stephen Sondheimís numerous credits of course also include writing the lyrics for Gypsy.

 

Critics Comments

  "Louise Gold sets the pulse racing as the vampish destroyer of Frank's first marriage" Michael Coveney, THE OBSERVER, 26 April 1992

ďAnother Leicester coup was Sondheimís Merrily We Roll Along, featuring some of our top young talent like Maria Friedman, Louise Gold and Michael Cantwell.Ē Liz Gilbey, Plays International, June 1992

 "Louise Gold's Broadway vamp has an almost burlesque style" Martin Hoyle, THE TIMES, 16 April 1992

 "Louise Gold looks the part and belts out her music in rip style; she handles her flamboyant party-talk with a certain disdain, like someone who would prefer not to know anybody who talked like that" David Murray, FINANCIAL TIMES, 18 April 1992

 ""Good thing going" cheapened to a vulgar torch song for the vulgar Gussie (the excellent Louise Gold)" Edward Seckerson INDEPENDENT, 15 April 1992

 "Louise Gold gives us a canny, uncliched parody of the predatory prima donna of Broadway." Robin Thorner, THE GUARDIAN, 20 April 1992

 

Links about Merrily We Roll Along (Stage Production)

The Guide To Musical Theatre, Synopsis of show: http://www.nodanw.com/shows_m/merry_we_roll_along.htm

 Sondheim Guide page for Merrily We Roll Along: http://www.geocities.com/sondheimguide/merrily.html

About Maria page for Merrily We Roll Along: http://www.aboutmaria.com/merrilywerollalong.html

Theatre Radioís interview with Louise Goldhttp://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/display?contentId=88986

TheatreNow.Com interview: Gold On Stage: Louise Gold In Follies: http://www.theatrenow.com/asp/link.htm?news.asp?art=3430&cat=1This is an interview carried out by Theatre.Comís Paul Webb, one hot summerís day, while Louise was appearing in Follies at The Royal Festival Hall. Although the interview is ostensibly about her role in Follies she also talks about her other Sondheim performances (including Merrily We Roll Along), along with: Memphis Tennessee, Political Theatre, and Spitting Image.

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