Harmony , the new Barry Manilow musical, is in the midst of a new workshop production in New York, and gearing up for a Dec. 11 backers audition, said agent Matthew Sullivan. Sullivan's client, Jekyll & Hyde diva Christiane Noll, will star in the new workshop. David Warren is still at the helm, although with an assist by La Jolla Playhouse's Des McAnuff.
Producers had hoped to bring the show to New York in spring 1999, but the lack of an appropriate theatre made that impossible, and the starting date was pushed back to fall 1999.
Pace Theatrical's Beth Smith said (Sept. 16) Harmony will go directly to the Great White Way, eschewing any pre-Broadway engagements, as previously announced.
Harmony ran at CA's La Jolla Playhouse last fall. Rebecca Luker and Danny Burstein starred in the CA production, wherein Manilow follows in the footsteps of Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett and other songwriters bringing their art to musical theatre. Bruce Sussman penned the book and lyrics for Harmony.
Harmony is inspired by the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, six young men in 1920s Germany who rose from unemployed street musicians to become world-famous entertainers. While at the height of their fame, they played to sold-out shows in world-class concert halls, made a dozen films and sold millions of records. But the group's mixture of Jews and Gentiles inevitably led to clashes with the newly established Nazi party. Manilow, a Brooklyn native, wrote such pop hits as "Mandy" and "Copacabana." He wrote a musical score for Off-Broadway's The Drunkard when he was 18. In 1994 he wrote the score for the Warner Brothers animated feature, Thumbelina. Sussman scored the Off- Broadway musical Miami (book by Wendy Wasserstein) and Ted Tally play, Coming Attractions.