Broadway vet Chip Zien (Into the Woods; Caroline, or Change) will reprise his performance as the Rabbi in the Broadway-bound Barry Manilow-Barry Sussman musical Harmony, set to begin performances at the Barrymore Theatre October 18 before opening November 13.
Zien created the role in the musical's Off-Broadway premiere at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene last year. 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.
As previously announced, the musical's Harmonists—Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey—will also reprise their Off-Broadway performances. Further casting is to be announced.
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.
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.
Harmony will be produced on Broadway by Ken Davenport, Sandi Moran, Garry Kief, Hunter Arnold, Marco Santarelli, Jonathan and Rae Corr, Adam Riemer, Scott Abrams, Amuse, Inc., Patty Baker, Tom and Michael D’Angora, Susan DuBow, Mark Jacobs, Michelle Kaplan, Steve Kyriakis & Matt Donaldson, Harold Matzner, Neil Gooding Productions, and Harvey & Sandy Platt, and in association with Wilfried Rimensberger and STILETTO Entertainment.
See photos from the Off-Broadway run of Harmony below: