“Merrily We Roll Along:” a perfect end to the Vasey era
By Daniella Snyder
Note: All events at Villanova are canceled, including the performances of Merrily We Roll Along, the exhibition talk, and Little (Reference) Desk Concert.
I’m Daniella Snyder, a graduate student at Villanova University, and your ‘Cat in Falvey Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics–from research to study habits and everything in between–and how the Falvey Library can play a large role in your success here on campus!
Villanova Theatre is proud to present Merrily We Roll Along, the last show of the 2019-2020 season, directed by Valerie Joyce, from March 17-29. This production will also serve as the last production in Vasey Theatre (home to Villanova Theatre for nearly 60 years) before moving to the brand-new Center for Performing Arts on the opposite side of Lancaster Avenue for the 2020-2021 Season.
Sondheim and Furth’s witty and wistful fable about friendship, compromise, and the price of success follows three idealistic artists whose lives pull them in unexpected directions. Featuring beloved songs like “Not a Day Goes By,” “Good Thing Going,” and “Our Time,” this groundbreaking musical starts at the end and ends at the beginning, following the aspirations, trials, and tribulations of this starry-eyed trio.
At the helm of this production is director Valerie Joyce, who also serves as Theatre Department Chairperson. As an alumna of Villanova’s MA in Theatre program, it is fitting that she serves as director of the final show in Vasey Theatre, having also worked as a performer and costume designer on its stage for many years.
Dr. Joyce holds Vasey Theatre dear to her heart, saying, “We thought for a long time about a fitting way to say goodbye to Vasey Theatre. Merrily fits the bill in many ways, as a challenging Sondheim score and a perfect vehicle for the actors in our program. But the story also resonates for those of us who went through the MA program and worked on this stage for over forty years. As we follow the three friends back in time to their starry-eyed youth with big dreams of the future, I am reminded of the people I’ve encountered in Vasey who have taught me, shaped our productions, and brought joy to so many audiences. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring one more show to Vasey’s stage and for this story’s beautiful tribute to friendship and the art of making art.”
The three friends who dream, connect, and find themselves estranged over the years—Frank, Charley, and Mary—are played by second-year graduate students Jay V. Kimberley, Ethan Mitchell, and Angela Rose Longo, respectively. Additional graduate students rounding out the dynamic cast include Jerald Bennett as Joe, Cristy Chory as Gussie, Alexandra Mitchell as Beth, and Amy Abrigo, David Burgess, Harry Dietrich, Tina Lynch, Lora Margerum, Rachel McFatridge, Sharese Salters, Kirsten Sughrue and Kale Thompson in the heavily featured ensemble. The production will also feature nine-year-old Charlie Carroccio as Franklin Shepard, Jr.
Falvey Memorial Library has a long-standing relationship with Villanova Theatre. This coming Friday, the Library will be hosting cast members of the musical for a brief concert at the Access Services Desk at 12:30 p.m., as they preview some of the exciting numbers from this new production.
Merrily We Roll Along runs at Villanova Theatre in Vasey Hall from March 17-29. Vasey Hall is located on Villanova’s main campus at the intersection of Lancaster and Ithan Avenues. Performances will be held Tuesdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets run $21-$25, with discounts available for seniors, students, MA in Theatre alumni and groups. Tickets may be purchased at the Villanova Theatre Box Office (M-S, 12-5 pm) in person, by phone: 610-519-7474, or online at www.villanovatheatre.org.
Daniella Snyder is a graduate student in the English department and a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library. Snyder is excited to review her final theatre production, Merrily We Roll Along, one of many productions she’s written about during her time at Villanova.
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