Wayne Alan Wilcox, Tony Yazbeck, Will Blum, Leigh Ann Larkin Cast in Barry Manilow's Harmony Musical

By Michael Gioia
June 27, 2013

Wayne Alan Wilcox, who was last seen on Broadway in Chaplin, will lead the cast of Harmony – A New Musical, featuring music by Barry Manilow and book and lyrics by Bruce Sussman. The co-production between Atlanta's Tony-winning Alliance Theatre and Center Theatre Group will begin performances Sept. 6 at the Alliance.



Directed by Drama Desk Award nominee Tony Speciale (Classic Stage Company's Unnatural Acts, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), performances will continue through Oct. 6.

"Harmony is about a group of young men who came together during a terrifying time in history to create something exquisite," said director Speciale in a statement. "Their heartbreaking and untold story was the impetus for Barry and Bruce to write Harmony, and it's what compelled me to work on this important project. Together the authors have woven an intricate and epic piece of music theatre about memory, collaboration, hope, brotherhood, survival and redemption. Harmony is a celebration of these six brilliant men and an inspiring reminder of the human capacity to make great art, even in our darkest hours."

Wilcox (Chaplin, The Normal Heart) will play Roman "Rabbi" Cykowski, who was the only surviving member of The Comedian Harmonists when Manilow and Sussman began working on the project. He died in 1998. His memories, plus available historical information, provide the basis for the musical.

Joining Wilcox, whose character also acts as the narrator for the story, are Tony Yazbeck (Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Gypsy) as Harry, Douglas Williams as Bobby, Chris Dwan (Off-Broadway's The Old Boy, Peter & I) as Erich, Will Taylor (A Chorus Line) as Chopin, Will Blum (The Book of Mormon) as Lesh, Leigh Ann Larkin (A Little Night Music, Gypsy) as Mary and Hannah Corneau as Ruth.

The ensemble for Harmony consists of 11 actors who play over 30 roles, including historical figures like Marlene Dietrich, Albert Einstein and Richard Strauss. They are Shayne Kennon, Patrick O’Neill, Greg Kamp, Charles Osborne, Bryan Thomas Hunt, Chad Lindsey, Brandon O’Dell, Lauren Elaine Taylor, Kim Sava, Lindsay Moore and Liberty Cogen.

"We are both thrilled by the stunningly talented cast and design team who will be joining us for this production of Harmony," said creators Manilow and Sussman in a statement. "Given Tony Speciale's fresh and blazingly theatrical vision for the piece, we now have every reason to believe this will be the Harmony we've always hoped to see."

Harmony, according to the Alliance, "tells the true story of The Comedian Harmonists, a close harmony ensemble of six young men in 1930s Germany, who took the world by storm until their religious composition – a mixture of Jews and Gentiles – put them on a collision course with history."

Other members of the creative team include set and costume designer Tobin Ost, projection designer Darrel Maloney, LX designer Jeff Croiter, choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter, music director Patrick Vaccariello, assistant music director John O'Neill, orchestrator Doug Walter, sound designer John Shivers and copyist Howard Begun.

For more information and tickets, visit call (404) 733-5000 or visit AllianceTheatre.org/Harmony.