Two Broadway Flops Return in Triumph

The major buzz on and off Broadway this week has been the near-simultaneous return of two of the biggest musical flops from the 1980s. At one end of the spectrum is the City Center Encores! revival of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, which closed after a mere 16 performances on Broadway in 1981. (Future TV star Jason Alexander played a notable role in the original, and future travel industry star Gary Stevens was in the ensemble.) While Encores! concerts usually only run for a weekend, the anticipation for this show has been so strong that it will be on the City Center stage through next Sunday. The score includes some of Sondheim's most popular songs, including "Good Thing Going," "Our Time" and "Not a Day Goes By." Visit www.nycitycenter.org for tickets.

The other big return is that of Carrie, the musical based on Stephen King's bestseller that shuttered after a mere five Broadway performances in 1988. (The show earned the dubious accomplishment of becoming the title of Ken Mandlebaum's book on Broadway failures, Not Since Carrie.) The revival at MCC kicked off at the end of January and is expected to formally open on March 1 at the West Village's Lucille Lortel Theatre. Broadway star Marin Mazzie is taking the lead role of Carrie's crazy mother (played by Betty Buckley and Barbara Cook on Broadway and in London, respectively). Visit www.mcctheater.org for tickets.

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