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"Merrily" rolls into Mtn. View: TheatreWorks production opens this week at MVCPA

TheatreWorks' closes its 37th season with "Merrily We Roll Along," scheduled to open this week and run through April 29 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

Based on the 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Stephen Sondheim's modern musical is the American story about dreamers and dreams. It features the Sondheim songs "Not a Day Goes By," "Good Thing Going" and "Our Time."

Robert Kelley, TheatreWorks founding artistic director, helms the production.

"Merrily" chronicles the story of Franklin Shepard, a one-time Broadway composer who has become a highly successful film producer. Realizing he sold out his talent, morals and everything he valued most - including his longtime friends Charley and Mary - in the process of becoming a success, Franklin turns back the clock to find out where he went wrong. He retraces three decades of rivalries, failures, triumphs and loves.

Damon Kirsche makes his TheatreWorks debut as Franklin. Kirsche has appeared on Broadway, at Carnegie Hall and as a featured soloist with the California Philharmonic. His screen credits include "Star Trek: Voyager" and "Days of Our Lives" on television and film roles in "L.A. Confidential" and "Gods and Generals."

The cast also features TheatreWorks veterans Molly Bell (as Mary Flynn), Robert Brewer (Charley Kringas) and Lianne Marie Dobbs (Beth Spencer). Bell grew up in Los Altos and has appeared in several area productions.

Previews of "Merrily" are scheduled 8 p.m. today through Friday. The opening performance is set for 8 p.m. Saturday. Future shows are slated for 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays (matinee only April 15 and 29); 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays (no show April 24); 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays (no matinee April 28).

The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts is located at 500 Castro St. in downtown Mountain View.

For tickets ($20-$60) and more information, call 903-6000 or visit www.theatreworks.org.

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