7:15 pm | 1 hr 37 min | documentary
This film from acclaimed theater director Lonny Price charts the journey of the original cast of Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along” in the 30-plus years since the musical debuted on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre in 1981. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened is the must-see chronicle of Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince’s much ballyhooed reverse chronology musical Merrily We Roll Along which closed after just 16 performances in 1981 but gradually assumed legend status. This alternately heartbreaking and euphoric film focuses on the original cast members, then and now, and the special place this experience holds in their memories.
“Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened” is a nimble documentary made with a personal touch of nostalgia, and it should prove nothing less than catnip to Sondheim obsessives. Full review
~ Owen Gleiberman / Variety
The build-up to a show, which everyone expected would be a hit, and the subsequent crash are movingly chronicled in Lonny Price’s documentary.
~ Stephen Holden / The NYTimes
Things went “Merrily,” then they went bad.
~ Joe Dziemianowicz ? New York Daily News
Funnily enough, there may be more poignancy in this heart-piercing anatomy of a flop than the original musical was able to muster.
~ Jane Horwitz / Washington Post