Harmony Troupe Will Sing at Drama Dept. Thanksgiving Benefit, Nov. 24 in NYC

News   Harmony Troupe Will Sing at Drama Dept. Thanksgiving Benefit, Nov. 24 in NYC
The eclectic Drama Dept. Thanksgiving Special Nov. 24 will include a visit by the refugee cast of Harmony, the Bruce Sussman-Manilow musical whose plug was suddenly pulled Nov. 13 by its producer after four weeks of rehearsals.

Brian D'Arcy James of Harmony will perform at the DD benefit, along with Drama Dept. founding company member Cynthia Nixon, Wonderful Town's Nancy Anderson, Mary Birdsong,  Harmony's Kate Baldwin, Hairspray's Mary Bond, "The Daily Show" personality Frank DeCaro, novelist-designer Chip Kidd and singer Kristine Zbornik.

The Drama Dept. Thanksgiving Special, hosted by founding member Douglas Carter Beane, is seen 7 PM Nov. 24 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street.

"It's as if you're at Old Carter Farm on Thanksgiving," according to the announcement. "There's a knock at the door and 'surprise' it's a fabulous guest star to sing a song or swap stories!"

The show includes songs from Harmony, which was shut down by producer Mark Schwartz Nov. 13 when he realized he was short more than $3 million and couldn't afford to go forward to the Philadelphia tryout of what was hoped to be a Broadway show come early 2004. The sets and costumes were built, the cast was rehearsed, $500,000 in tickets were sold. Previews were set to begin in Philly Dec. 2.

The heartbroken cast will now make what will amount to a public elegy, offering pieces of the show. The creative team, including director David Warren, expressed hope in the past week that a new producer might eventually save the day. Untangling business details may prove difficult and prevent the show from surfacing anytime soon. Harmony cast members expected to appear at Drama Dept. are Brian D'Arcy James, Stephen Buntrock, Bradley Dean, Aaron Lazar, David Turner and Thom Christopher Warren. Musical director for Harmony is David Chase.

Holiday songs at the Thanksgiving Special are by Douglas J. Cohen, Sam Davis and Lewis Flinn.

The Thanksgiving Special creative staff includes lighting designer Kirk Bookman, musical director Jono Mainelli, choreographer Robert Bianca, and associate producer Terry Jackson.

Tickets are $35 and may be purchased by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.  Or, for a $150 donation, you can see the show and party with the cast afterwards at the home of Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn. Call Drama Dept. (212) 633 9108 for more details.

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