I have seen several productions of Merrily and the characters have always been somewhat unsympathetic except nearer the end of the show.
I liked this production but I’m not sure why material was added for Beth’s parents because it slowed the show down though I guess they were ciphers in past versions.
I thought the Kennedy Center production with Raul Esparza and Michael Hayden was the best Merrily I’ve seen. The York Theater version was effective and so was an NYU presentation years ago (with Hills of Tomorrow).
I found the Encores version disappointing even with an orchestra.