Casting is now complete for the Broadway premiere of Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman's musical Harmony, set to begin performances October 18 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre ahead of a November 13 opening night,
Joining the previously announced principal cast members Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess, Julie Benko, and Comedian Harmonists Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey will be Allison Semmes as Josephine Baker and Andrew O’Shanick as Standartenfϋhrer.
The company will be completed by Zak Edwards, Dan Hoy, Bruce Landry, RhonniRose Mantilla, Daniel Z. Miller, Benjamin H. Moore, Matthew Mucha, Constantine Pappas, Kayleen Seidl, Kyla Stone, Bronwyn Tarboton, Kate Wesler, Stuart Zagnit, and Lee Zarrett.
Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle (The Music Man, Hello Dolly!) will direct and choreograph the musical, which played an acclaimed Off-Broadway engagement at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene last year.
The upcoming production will also have scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Linda Cho and Ricky Lurie, lighting design by Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, media design by batwin + robin productions, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, casting by Jamibeth Margolis, associate direction and choreography by Sara Edwards, music direction by John O’Neill, music coordination by Michael Aarons, orchestrations by Doug Walter, and production stage management by Scott Taylor Rollison.
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 critically acclaimed. It was nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Lucille Lortel Awards. It won the Best New Musical Award from the Off-Broadway Alliance.
A release date for the cast album has not yet been set. Manilow recorded songs from the score for his 2004 album Scores: Songs From Copacabana and Harmony.
Joining the producing team with Ken Davenport, Sandi Moran, and Garry Kief are Hunter Arnold, Marco Santarelli, Scott Abrams, Jonathan and Rae Corr, Adam Riemer, Tom & Michael D'Angora, Nick Padgett, Neil Gooding Productions, Steve Kyriakis & Matt Donaldson, Matthew Rosenthal, Koenigsberg Federman Riley, Patty Baker, Michael B Cox, Susan DuBow, Paul Gavriani, R.K. Greene, Mark Jacobs, Michelle Kaplan, Willette and Manny Klausner, Sara Miller McCune, James L. Nederlander, Michael Patrick, PickleStar Cohen, Harvey and Sandy Platt, WitzEnd Productions, Harold Matzner, Addiss Keena/Amuse, Inc., Burba Hayes LLC/Hunter Johnson, Larry Starr/Viva Diva USA INC/Jon and Ron Yonover.
Harmony is produced in association with Wilfried Rimensberger and STILETTO Entertainment.