Tony-nominated Jonathan Groff on revival of "Merrily We Roll Along"


Broadway star Jonathan Groff is celebrating his third Tony nomination for his role in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along.” The musical is nominated for seven Tony Awards, including “Best Musical Revival.”

But back in 1981, the musical was not one of Sondheim’s greatest hits initially. It was only on Broadway for 16 performances.

Groff, who plays composer Frank Shepard, alongside actors Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez, is performing a version remade by award-winning actor and director Maria Friedman.

“It’s taken over 40 years now to come back to Broadway and the miracle, one of the many miracles of this production, is that it’s a hit after 40-plus years,” he said.

Groff spoke on “CBS Mornings” about the show’s unique style as it begins in the 1970s and moves backward 20 years.

“I think one of the things that is moving people is at the end of the show, we see our characters, 18 years old, full of hope, full of promise and I think it reminds people of that passion that we all had,” Groff said.

He attributes its success to the ability to connect to people’s daily lives.

Even though the plot of the show and the story of the show is about show business, at the core it’s about friendship and it’s about life and it’s about how people change over the years and how we either accept or don’t accept that change, both in us and in the people around us.

Offscreen, Groff and his co-stars are close. He officiated Mendez’s wedding back in April.

“It was this beautiful, intimate ceremony in Central Park,” he said. “Dan Radcliffe was the ring bearer of the ceremony. Lindsay’s 3-year-old daughter was there, the flower girl. It was adorable.”

The Tony Awards air on Sunday, June 16 on CBS.



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