A quick and careless review:
The new cineplex I went to see the thing sucked. I shudda guessed as it is in the YP part of town. All sizzle, no steak.
The seating easily could have sucked despite it being STADIUM SEATING, thankfully nearly no one was there.
The audio sucked, which after listening to something else there, was not just a matter of the recording of the production, but the fact the audio was being delivered it seems out of a single midrange horn and single subwoofer.
So much for XTREME DIGITAL!!!!!!!!!!!!
The production itself nearly brought me to a rage within 12 minutes of the first twenty minutes. Unlike the Met's fantastically produced and packaged simulcasts, this production makes its "introduction" part of the show, so the lights out and doors closed time is when you get lectured by an idiotic British 20 something interviewing others of her ilk about what you showed up to see.
This goes on for 20 minutes. Waayy too long and you really can't opt out without leaving the darken room. So I just complained loudly and mocked the "content" on the screen, 7 minutes of which were "highlights" of what I WAS WAITING TO SEE.
The MET has all that nonsense before lights out and during the intermission.
So basically on a work night, they decided 20 minutes of life should be utterly wasted.
Once I got my ears used to muddled audio (I get better separation on the Tivoli single speaker unit I use at home and work), I could finally begin to not care at about the complaints of the middle aged bourgeoisie. The production might have been slightly interesting 30 years ago, but so much of the comedic elements in the musical have been cliched and those cliches rather than being lowlit, were played extremely broadly. I groaned more than a dozen times.
Of course anyone who is familiar with this work knows what the basic problem with the piece, other than the general unsympathetic characters and their cliched lots in life, is that we are never quite sure why the protagonist seems so alienated from his best friends or his own life.
Sondheim was young when making this and couldn't understand the real ravages of middle age and relied to heavily on the most obvious absurdities of modernity so Merrily We Roll Along likely only makes sense to those similar young people who believe stuff like lost dreams, paths not taken, and broken relationship are the stuff middle age woes are made or those older viewers who might consider the structure and humor of the work "interesting" or fresh.
I can't imagine anyone see this production and wondering if the young Sondheim hadn't paid enough attention to Brecht. Thankfully, Sondheim grew up out of his modernist stupidities and his later works are all the much better for it.