Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Actress Looks Back on Broadway Debut in 'Merrily We Roll Along' Documentary

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Actress Looks Back on Broadway Debut in 'Merrily We Roll Along' Documentary

Article excerpt

ANN MORRISON

Sarasota actress Ann Morrison experienced some major highs and depressing lows during her Broadway debut in the 1981 Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical "Merrily We Roll Along."

She was one of the three leads in a cast of mostly young performers telling a story of friendships damaged by success and fame. Like the George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play on which it was based, the story is told backwards in time from when the friends are jaded adults back to when they were young and eager writers and composers willing to do anything to get their work noticed.

Morrison played Mary Flynn in the musical that theater observers expected to become the next hit in a string of a musicals from Sondheim and director Harold Prince that included "Company," "Follies" and "Sweeney Todd."

But the show was greeted by critics with some scathing reviews and lasted only two weeks on Broadway.

"We thought we were working with musical theater Gods, even though all of us knew something wasn't working. But we were working with Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince. They were going ot make it work," Morrison recalled. "I learned a lot from watching what they had to go through and how that impacted my life moving forward as well."

Morrison will be sharing some of her stories and experiences on the show after a special one-night screening of the new documentary "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened," directed by one of her co-stars Lonny Price.

Morrison will introduce the film, being screened by the Sarasota Film Festival as a joint benefit for the SaraSolo festival (which Morrison started three years ago). After the film, she will share some stories "that got left on the cutting room floor" and answer questions, and later sing songs from the musical at a post- screening reception at the Starlite Room. …

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