Marc Moritz on Musical Misfire 'Merrily We Roll Along'

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In 1981 a new musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince based on the 1934 play Merrily We Roll Along opened on Broadway. What made this production stand out from other Sondheim-Prince musicals like Follies, Company or A Little Night Music was that Merrily We Roll Along was a flop, closing after only 16 performances. 

This Saturday and Sunday the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque screens a new documentary about the ill-fated musical - Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened.

Cleveland actor Marc Moritz was cast as "Alex" in the original Broadway production which quickly became a stressful situation.

"We literally got new material everyday we would rehearse.  We were handed new lyrics, new scenes and put them in at night," Moritz said.

Moritz began to realize there were issues with the production.

"I had done my fair share of theater and some professional theater.  I was raised since I was six in theater so I smelled trouble."

Despite the New York City critics panning the production and the short run, Moritz looks back fondly on the chance to work with a legend like Sondheim.

"We all grew up, or [at least] I did just thinking he was the greatest composer on the planet."

Marc Moritz will appear at the Sunday 8pm screening at The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque.

Listen to Dan Polletta's interview with Marc Moritz Thursday, February 9 at 12:33pm on 90.3 during Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause.

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