Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened . . . | Chicago Reader

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened . . .

Lonny Price, an original cast member from the 1981 Broadway musical Merrily We Roll Along, remembers the excitement of being chosen—along with about two dozen other teenage actors who answered an open call—for this daring new show by director Harold Prince and composer Stephen Sondheim, and the devastation of seeing it flop miserably with critics and close after only 16 performances. Price's gaga voice-over narration is hard to take, but his fellow cast members (including Jason Alexander) supply fascinating insights into the troubled production and demanding reverse-chronological book, which follows its characters from disappointed middle age back to hopeful young adulthood. More impressively, Price has incorporated the retrospective theme into his documentary with a second act in which the performers reveal the different directions life has taken them since they appeared in the show.

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