The trio of “Old Friends” is complete: Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda will play Charley Kringas opposite previously announced stars Colin Donnell as Franklin Shepard and Celia Keenan-Bolger as Mary Flynn in the forthcoming Encores! mounting of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along. The production will get an extended run of 15 performances at New York City Center, February 8-19, 2012, directed by Sondheim’s frequent collaborator James Lapine.
Merrily We Roll Along has grown in reputation since its aborted 1981 Broadway debut production, which ran for only 16 performances. Moving backwards in time from 1980 to 1955, it examines the lives of three people whose friendship is tested by time, events, ambition and fate. Donnell plays an idealistic young Broadway composer turned Hollywood mogul; Miranda plays Shepard’s partner and best friend; and Keenan-Bolger their loyal but disillusioned pak. The cast also includes previously announced players Betsy Wolfe as Shepard’s wife Beth and Elizabeth Stanley as Gussie Carnegie, the star of their first Broadway hit.
Miranda is the Tony-winning composer-lyricist of Broadway’s In the Heights, and was nominated for a second Tony for his lead performance in the show. He contributed new songs to the revival of Stephen Schwartz’s Working, collaborated with Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim on Spanish translations for the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story and partnered with Jeff Whitty, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green on Bring It On: The Musical, now embarking on a national tour. He will preview songs from The Hamilton Mixtape, a work-in-progress, in an American Songbook concert in January.
Merrily We Roll Along will have music direction by Rob Berman and musical staging by Dan Knechtges.