Try this one on for size:
Merrily We Roll Along is the Harry Potter of musicals.
Stop that eyerolling!
Ok, ok, there’s no wand action in the legendary Sondheim flop (now at Encores!), but Merrily and Harry share some telling similarities, most importantly this: they both star an intrepid trio of perfectly matching personalities.
Hear me out!
Merrily’s Frank Shepard lines up perfectly with Harry Potter himself—he’s charismatic, talented—the “leading man.” Charley, then, is Ron, all funny best-friend and second fiddle. And Mary is Hermione, a bookish shot of estrogen brokering peace whenever need be.
But that’s not all! Hermione/Mary also secretly pines for Ron/Charley (though only in Harry Potter does that romance blossom). And Hogwarts, Harry‘s wizarding school, functions much like New York City in Merrily: It’s a place to make your way in the world, to escape danger and to do grand adventures with your friends.
Clearly, JK Rowling is a Merrily fanatic and thought she’d make a stab at fixing the famously flawed show on her own terms.