Doyle Winning “Merrily” Contest?

I told you recently that “Merrily We Roll Along” is probably the next Sondheim show due for a Broadway revival. Mr. Sondheim has had a discussion or two in the past with James Lapine about directing the show, but John Doyle, who directed an acclaimed “Sweeney Todd” on Broadway in 2005 and a less-loved “Company” after, not to mention the off-Broadway premiere of Sondheim’s last new work, “Road Show,” may beat Lapine to the punch. Doyle will direct “Merrily” at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park next March. That’s the theatre from which the Broadway “Company” sprang. And yes, for “Merrily,” which Doyle staged at Britain’s Watermill Theatre in 2008, he will again have actors play musical instruments. Lapine’s directing the revival of “Annie” next season on Broadway, so if Doyle’s “Merrily” is good, his may be the one. Lapine’s latest show, “Little Miss Sunshine,” has just opened at La Jolla. The L.A. Times review is encouraging and mixed.

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