The long-awaited New York debut of Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman's Harmony officially opened Off-Broadway April 13.
One notable personality absent from the opening-night festivities was the show's composer, Manilow, who was sidelined by a positive COVID test.
“I am heartbroken to say that I have just tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be able to attend tonight’s opening night performance of my new musical, Harmony," shared Manilow in an April 13 statement. "This just might be the cruelest thing that has ever happened to me: 25 years waiting for this show to premiere in New York and I can’t attend. Even in the face of this pandemic, we New Yorkers remain the toughest, staunchest people on the planet—so, put on a mask and go see a show!”
Watch moments from opening night—including the curtain call, a highlight from the new musical, and a shout out to composer Manilow from co-star Chip Zien—in the video above.
National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene presents the musical, which began previews March 23 in the newly renovated Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage–A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Tony winner Warren Carlyle directs and choreographs the production, currently scheduled to run through May 8.
The cast features Sierra Boggess (The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, The Little Mermaid) as Mary with Zien (Falsettos, Into the Woods) as the elder Rabbi.
Playing the six Comedian Harmonists are Sean Bell (A Bronx Tale: The Musical), Danny Kornfeld (Rent), Zal Owen (The Band’s Visit), Eric Peters (Motown: The Musical), Blake Roman (Newsies), and Steven Telsey (The Book of Mormon). Jessie Davidson is Ruth, with Ana Hoffman (Dreamgirls) as Josephine Baker. Kenny Morris (Hairspray) is the standby for Zien’s Rabbi.
The ensemble includes Elise Frances Daniells, Zak Edwards, Abby Goldfarb, Eddie Grey, Shayne Kennon, Kolby Kindle, Benjamin H. Moore, Matthew Mucha, Tori Palin, Barrett Riggins, Kayleen Seidl, Andrew O’Shanick, Dan Teixeira, Nancy Ticotin, and Kate Wesler.
The musical 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 production has scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Linda Cho and Ricky Lurie, lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, video design by batwin + robin productions, inc., casting by Jamibeth Margolis, associate direction and choreography by Sara Edwards, general management by Roy Gabay/Jumpstart Entertainment, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, and music direction and additional vocal and music arrangement by John O’Neill.
Harmony is co-produced by Ken Davenport and Sandi Moran with Garry Kief, Amuse, Inc., Susan DuBow, Mapleseed Productions, Michelle Kaplan, and Neil Gooding Productions in association with Wilfried Rimensberger and STILETTO Entertainment. Miranda Gohh is associate producer.