Porchlight Music Theatre has completed casting for its January production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along. The show’s trio of leading characters will be played by Jim DeSelm as Franklin Shepard, Matt Crowle as Charley Kringas and Neala Barron as Mary Flynn.
Also in the cast are Keely Vasquez as Gussie, David Fiorello as Joe and Aja Wiltshire as Beth, with an ensemble to include Kyrie Anderson, Larry Baldacci, Sandra Bogan, Katherine Condit, Christopher Davis, Andres Enriquez, Fredrick Harris, Michelle Jasso, Bernell Lassai, Cisco Lopez, Alana Lovely, Khaki Pixley and Jonathan Strombres; young actors Zachary Fewkes and Asher Schenk will alternate in the role of Franklin Shepard Jr.
Merrily, which charts the friendship and careers of songwriters Franklin and Charley and novelist Mary in reverse chronological order, was a box-office bomb when it premiered on Broadway in 1981, but has found a loyal fan base in the decades since. (A documentary film about the original production and cast, Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, was released in 2016 and is available on Netflix.)
Porchlight’s production will be helmed by artistic director Michael Weber, with musical staging by Christopher Pazdernik and music direction by Aaron Benham. The creative team also includes Bill Morey (costume design), Jeff Kmiec and Greg Pinsoneault (scenic design), Tony Churchill (sound design) and Robert Hornbostel (sound design); the band, led by Benham on piano, includes Tony Scandora (percussion), Ben Dillinger (bass), Mike Matlock (reeds), Lara Regan (reeds), Jered Montgomery (trumpet) and Matt Kowalski (trombone). Merrily We Roll Along runs January 26–March 11 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.