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‘Merrily We Roll Along’ Ends Run On New High

‘Merrily We Roll Along’ Ends Run On New High

Merrily We Roll Along closed out its Broadway run with a new high of $2.77 million, which the production says is the highest grossing week ever for any Stephen Sondheim musical on Broadway.

The revival, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez, ended its run July 7, after opening at the Hudson Theatre in October 2023. The revival has continued to break box office records at the theater and has seen a particular rise in grosses in recent weeks, after the production won best revival of a musical at the June 16 Tony Awards, where both Radcliffe and Groff also took home trophies, and as it neared its closing date. 

Capacity has been at 100 percent every week of run. And the average ticket price has also increased, alongside its popularity, to reach a new high of $357.94 in its final week. 

While Sondheim musicals did not traditionally fare well at the box office in their original runs, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of his shows, and their grosses, since his death in November 2021. 

Recent examples include the 2023 revival of Sweeney Todd, starring Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford, where grosses hit a high of $2.26 million across a seven-show week around Christmas, and the 2022 revival of Into the Woods, which hit a weekly high of $2.1 million in August 2022. 

The original production of Merrily We Roll Along, directed by Hal Prince and featuring a book by George Furth, was one of Sondheim’s more infamous flops. The show began previews on Oct. 8, 1981 and closed on Nov. 28. 

The revival, directed by Maria Friedman, recouped its $12 million capitalization in March 2024. During the final weeks of the run, the show producers raised up to $4 million to professionally film the production. The filming was done “for posterity,” according to a production spokesperson, who also added, “We’ll see what happens.” 

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The production was originally produced at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2012 followed by a West End run produced in 2013. It was produced Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop in 2022.

The musical was the highest grossing show for Broadway for the week, beating out stalwarts such as Wicked, which brought in $2.2 million, Hamilton, with $1.9 million, and The Lion King, with $2.5 million. 

Overall, grosses for the industry took a hit in the week ended July 7, as is typical due to the July 4 holiday. The overall gross across all shows fell 8 percent from the prior week and attendance fell 5 percent. 

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