By Kenneth Jones
24 Jan 2013
There was some hope among his team that the Thursday, Jan. 24 official opening night might happen following the cancellation of Tuesday and Wednesday performances, but, "on doctors' orders," according to a Thursday statement, "Manilow On Broadway has been forced to reschedule tonight's opening night along with the remainder of this weekend's performances. It turns out the only thing worse than hell and high water is bronchitis. Barry is deeply sorry to disappoint his fans and is doing everything he can to ensure a speedy recovery."
Critics invitations are being adjusted in the coming week. The Jan. 24 opening party at — where else? — the Copacabana in midtown — was cancelled. A new opening night will be announced, after which reviews will appear.
The Thursday, Jan. 24 show will be rescheduled to Thursday, Feb. 28 at 8 PM.
The Saturday, Jan. 26 show will be rescheduled to Saturday, March 2 at 8 PM.
As previously reported, a makeup performance has been added on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 PM to accommodate Jan. 23 ticketholders. A makeup performance for the Jan. 22 show was announced to play Feb. 26, three days after the announced original closing date of the limited engagement.
The cancellation of these performances of the concert event boasting "the songs that make the whole world sing," as his lyric goes, has frustrated the singer, but he's only human — despite his legendary pop status. New Yorkers in recent weeks have been struggling with cold and flu viruses, to say nothing of bitter cold temperatures. At noon Jan. 23, it was 16 degrees in New York City.
A frisky posting at Manilow.com Jan. 22 stated, "With deep apologies, and due to a sudden case of bronchitis, tonight's show will be postponed until February 26th. Mr. Manilow can be found on the Brooklyn Bridge, getting ready to jump."
Previews for Manilow On Broadway began Jan. 18 at Broadway's St. James Theatre. He plays a five-performance week, Tuesday-Saturday, now to March 2.
On the morning of Jan. 22, in cold weather, Manilow was present for an outdoor unveiling of the ceremonial street sign for Barry Manilow Way on West 44th Street, where the St. James is located.
The Grammy Award winner has sold 80 million records. He's also got a passion for musical theatre; he wrote the scores for the musicals Harmony and Copacabana.
"Manilow is returning to the place where it all began, his hometown, New York City, with a new concert series on Broadway — marking his return to The Great White Way for the first time in more than two decades," according to producers, who announced the booking on Oct. 22, 2012.
At the age of seven, Brooklyn native Manilow was taking accordion lessons and playing on a neighbor's piano. He attended New York College of Music and the Juilliard School of Music while working in the mailroom at CBS. He subsequently became musical director for a CBS show named "Callback," a predecessor to "American Idol," which led to working in the world of advertising jingles.
Manilow has had 25 consecutive Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1975 and 1983. The list includes songs that Manilow still sings today: "Mandy," "It's a Miracle," "Could It Be Magic," "I Write the Songs," "Tryin' To Get the Feeling Again," "This One's For You," "Weekend in New England," "Looks Like We Made It," "Can't Smile Without You," "Even Now," and the Grammy Award-winning "Copacabana (At the Copa)."
"Growing up in New York, Broadway has always held a special place in my heart and I am honored to have the opportunity to make the St. James Theatre my home in the New Year," stated Manilow. Manilow on Broadway is presented by Jujamcyn Theaters and STILETTO Entertainment.
Tickets range in price from $50 to $350. For tickets, visit ManilowOnBroadway.com or call (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250.
Barry Manilow Fan Club tickets are available at manilow.com and by calling (310) 957-5788.
Manilow on Broadway plays the following weekly performance schedule: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday at 7 PM, Thursday at 8 PM, Friday at 8 PM and Saturday at 8 PM.
Watch Manilow's video conversation with Jujamcyn Theaters president Jordan Roth: