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Happy Birthday To New Rochelle’'s Terry Finn

Terry Finn
Terry Finn Photo Credit:

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to New Rochelle’s Teresa Jo Ann Bernadette "Terry" Finn.

Finn, who studied at Iona College in New Rochelle, turns 61 on Saturday.

Finn, an actress, best-known for creating the role of Gussie Carnegie in the original Broadway cast of the Stephen Sondheim/Hal Prince/George Furth musical comedy "Merrily We Roll Along" and its original cast album, was born Aug. 6, 1955, in Long Island City, N.Y. Finn made her Broadway debut at the Morosco Theatre in Hugh Leonard's "A Life" as understudy to Dana Delany. Following "A Life," casting director Joanna Merlin chose Finn to create the role of Gussie Carnegie in "Merrily We Roll Along." With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by George Furth and direction by Hal Prince, this stage production is considered a musical theater legend in spite of the fact that it closed after 52 previews and 16 performances. Despite a flurry of negative reviews, Clive Barnes raved in the New York Post that "A beautifully acrid comic skit is provided by Terry Finn as a producer's wife with even less morals than taste and a turn of a phrase that would cause a viper to bite out its tongue in envy."

Following the brief run at the Alvin Theatre, the cast gathered at RCA Records Studio A on Nov. 29, 1981 — the day after the show closed — to record the original cast album. The album's popularity eventually led to a "Merrily We Roll Along Original Broadway Cast Reunion Concert," which was staged at the La Guardia Concert Hall in Lincoln Center on Sept. 30, 2002.

Finn was reunited with her original cast mates in the one-night-only benefit that raised more than $200,000 for Musical Theatre Works. A documentary film recalling the 25-plus year history of the show, its creators and cast is in discussion, with a tentative title of "Rolling Along."

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