The upcoming Broadway transfer of Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman's long-gestating musical Harmony has revealed that its six Comedian Harmonists will transfer with the musical from its 2022 Off-Broadway premiere at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. The musical is set to begin previews October 18 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre with opening night November 13. Warren Carlyle is directing and choreographing.
Reprising their performances as the Comedian Harmonists will be Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey, with all but Owen making their Broadway debuts. Further casting and creative team members are to be announced.
The musical—featuring music by Manilow and lyrics and a book by Sussman—tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, an ensemble of six young men in 1920s Germany who took the world by storm with their blend of sophisticated close harmonies and uproarious stage antics, until their inclusion of Jewish singers put them on a collision course with history. The work is partially based on The Comedian Harmonist Archive as curated by the late Dr. Peter Czada.
The musical has had a long road to Broadway. A world premiere staging played California's La Jolla Playhouse in 1997, then directed by David Warren. A pre-Broadway tryout was announced for Philadelphia's Forrest Theatre in 2003, only to be canceled due to financial woes. The musical reemerged in a 2013 co-production at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre and Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group, with Tony Speciale directing. The California run won the LA Drama Critics Circle Award. The Broadway bow is a transfer of the musical's 2022 Off-Broadway run at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, which Carlyle also directed and choreographed. The Off-Broadway staging was nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Lucille Lortel Awards.
An Off-Broadway cast album was recorded but has not yet been released. Manilow recorded songs from the score for his 2004 album Scores: Songs From Copacabana and Harmony.
See photos from the Off-Broadway run of Harmony: