Merrily We Roll Along

Published January 1, 2020

COVID-19 Information - Remaining 2019-2020 Season Cancelled

The University at Buffalo is monitoring the COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) situation carefully and is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of the UB community in accordance with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Details.

The UB Center for the Arts and the Department of Theatre and Dance are engaged in these conversations to ensure the health and safety of our patrons, students and staff.

In light of the transition to remote learning for all SUNY and CUNY campuses and restrictions on public gatherings in New York State, all remaining Theatre and Dance productions scheduled through May 11, 2020 have been cancelled.

Patrons who purchased tickets from CFA to this event will receive information regarding refunds within the next several days.

Patrons should visit CFA’s website for the latest updates on the status of other spring events. The box office can be reached at 716-645-2787 or

For the latest information about UB’s preparedness and response please visit

While this event has been cancelled, the write up below from original press release has been left available for archival purposes: 

The University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance will celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday with a production of his Olivier Award-winning musical comedy “Merrily We Roll Along.” The show is directed by Nathan R. Matthews, associate professor and Director of Music Theatre. Music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim with a book by George Furth.

Public performances will take place at the UB Center for the Arts Drama Theatre in Amherst, NY on Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday April 26 at 2 p.m.; Friday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 2 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, May 3 at 2 p.m.

“Merrily We Roll Along” is based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Furth and Sondheim retained the overall structure and theme but updated its time period to span from 1957 to 1976. The story centers upon three friends who write and compose. Mary is a novelist. Charley is a playwright and lyricist. His friend, Franklin Shepard who, having once been a talented composer of Broadway musicals, has left behind his friends and his songwriting career to become a producer of Hollywood movies. Like the play, the musical begins at the height of Franklin’s Hollywood success and works backwards in time, highlighting moments in the trio’s friendship that shaped their lives.

After an unfortunate initial run on Broadway in 1981, “Merrily We Roll Along” received multiple script and musical revisions in several regional productions in the USA before opening in London where it received the 2001 Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Over the years the musical has become something of a cult classic. The show’s popularity grew through the popular Frank Sinatra recording of “Good Thing Going,” and Judy Collins’s recording of “Not a Day Goes By.”

Director and Music Director Nathan R. Matthews is a contributing author to “The Oxford Handbook of Sondheim Studies,” and was music associate for “Children and Art,” Broadway’s celebration of Sondheim’s 75th birthday.

The cast and designers for Merrily We Roll Along” are students from the Department of Theatre and Dance and include Western New York natives Hannah Keller, Michael Wells, Thomas Evans, Nathan Roberts, Jill Anderson, and Jamil Kassem-Lopez.