Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomeEntertainmentDaniel Radcliffe returns to Broadway rescuing the musical “Merrily We Roll Along”

Daniel Radcliffe returns to Broadway rescuing the musical “Merrily We Roll Along”

“How did you come to be here?”the first line that Charlie he says singing in it musical Merrily We Roll Along recently revived on Broadway is easy to answer for those who know Daniel Radcliffe, he actor who will forever be associated with Harry Pottera character he played in eight films – all high-grossing – and which made him one of the most recognized and best-paid faces on the screens this century.

But Radcliffe has not stayed to live off his fortune – some 96 million dollars, after taxes and commissions – which he amassed by playing the famous magician from the age of 12, a fame that led him to leave school and continue with private tutors. On the contrary, his desire to be a respected actor caused him to just begin the Harry Potter saga will debut in London West Endin 2002, and since then has not stopped combining cinema and theater.

Of course Broadway was a sung subject: In New York he made his debut even as a teenager, with the work Equus by Peter Shaffer, brought from London in 2008-09. She returned with the classic musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 2011-12. And he continued with two more works: The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh in 2014 and The Lifespan of a Fact (2018-19), by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell.

Now come back with Merrily We Roll Alongcomposed by the legendary Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021), one of the most important figures of musical theater of the 20th century since his resounding success West Side Story and who is credited with the “reinvention” of that genre on Broadway.

Merrily We Roll Along is a text by George Furth –based on a work of the same name from 1934– about the friendship of three artists shaken by the ups and downs of life, egos, ambitions, successes, failures and lack of communication, with the peculiarity that the story is told in “throwback”: from 1976 to 1957, between Los Angeles and New York, allowing for an ironically optimistic ending in contrast to a cynical and unhappy beginning: “We are no longer three… Now we are one and one and one,” Charley says bitterly.

It’s a simple musical for Broadway referenceswithout great choreography, costumes or lights, with an ocher scene, everything that could be summed up as boring, especially in the first act.

Although they are three friends, the main character is not Radcliffe’s Charley, but Franklin (Jonathan Groff), a womanizing musical composer who ends up becoming a Hollywood film producer and is his own worst enemy. The third vertex is Mary (Lindsay Méndez), a writer, who is eternally in love with her and then drunk because they never had the opportunity to confess her feelings to each other.

Directed by María Friedman – a woman in the lead is not very common on Broadway – this production comes from the New York Theater Workshop. At the same time, a film adaptation is being developed that, curiously, would not have the current cast on the stage, but rather Paul Mescal, Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt.

At the moment the musical is scheduled to be on display until March 24, but everything on Broadway is subject to the box office and the original cast is not always maintained. In fact, this is the first revival since its unsuccessful premiere in 1981, when it only lasted a few days in theaters, sunk by negative reviews.

It was such a resounding failure that the working relationship between Sondheim and director Harold Prince ended after five applauded shows in the 1970s: Company, Follies, Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (another current hit on Broadway). They say that Sondheim was so disappointed that he wanted to retire, which did not happen.

This time it looks diametrically different, because even Jesse Green, head of the feared theater critics of The New York Times wrote in favor: “It was universally considered a debacle, (but now) Jonathan Groff’s central performance in Merrily We Roll Along… It is ‘unmissable’ and helps give the show the tough shell it was missing (…) Now heartbreaking only in the moving sense, it has been found in the darkness. It is no longer, as it seemed in 1981, the story of the gradual and almost inevitable darkening of the sweet illusions of youth, but rather, first of all, the story of their falsehood (…) But despite the high-voltage performances and laser-focused Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez, have no effect…they are clearly Franklin’s pawns, whether they want it or not.”

Thus, it is clear that although it heads the credits, Radcliffe is not in the lead. If you agree to be “Supporting actor” could achieve his first nomination for the 2024 Tony Award, Broadway’s biggest hit, next spring. But, the multi millionaire ex Harry Potter Do you need prizes?

Recent posts