HARMONY Opens at Nationwide Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

Harmony: A New Musical, starring musical theatre icons Chip Zien (Into the Woods, Caroline, Or Adjust) and Sierra Boggess (The Minor Mermaid, The Phantom of the Opera), opens tonight at Countrywide Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Examine the evaluations!

Offered by Nationwide Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) for only 4 extra months, Harmony was created by the famous Barry Manilow and his longtime collaborator Bruce Sussman and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Warren Carlyle.

Harmony tells the correct tale of the Comedian Harmonists, an ensemble of six talented younger men in 1920s Germany who took the world by storm with their signature mix of sophisticated close harmonies and uproarious phase antics, until their inclusion of Jewish singers place them on a collision program with heritage.

Fresh from the stellar results of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, which won several honors which includes a 2019 Drama Desk Award, NYTF presents Harmony in English. Previews start off this Wednesday, and the manufacturing opens on April 13 and runs through May possibly 8, 2022, in the newly renovated Edmond J. Safra Corridor theatre at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Put in Battery Park Metropolis, Manhattan.

Participating in the six Comedian Harmonists are Sean Bell (Nationwide Tour: A Bronx Tale: The Musical), Danny Kornfeld (Nationwide Tour: Rent), Zal Owen (Broadway: The Band’s Stop by), Eric Peters (Nationwide Tour: Motown: The Musical), Blake Roman (Regional: Newsies), and Steven Telsey (Countrywide Tour: The E-book of Mormon). Jessie Davidson (Regional: The Mystery of Edwin Drood) performs Ruth, with Ana Hoffman (Nationwide Tour: Dreamgirls) set to portray Josephine Baker – a key movie star whom the Harmonists encountered on their way to the major. Kenny Morris (Broadway: Hairspray) will be the standby for Zien’s Rabbi.

The ensemble includes Elise Frances Daniells, Zak Edwards, Abby Goldfarb, Eddie Gray, 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.


Johnny Oleksinski, The New York Publish: The ebook, by Manilow’s longtime collaborator Sussman, also tends to jump to extremes. A huge portion of the first act is expended introducing us to the 6 Comedian Harmonists in a catchy but prolonged opening quantity. They then have a blink-and-you-pass up-it sequence of being unknowns and – hey presto! – are all of a sudden environment-renowned. The Borscht Belt jokes throughout are pleasurable, but there are a couple too quite a few. Two roles that could use additional meat are the wives, performed by Sierra Boggess and Jessie Davidson. Conflicted about their husbands’ roles in Germany’s moral downfall, they’re perhaps intriguing. Nonetheless, however beautiful their tunes is, the elements appear off as slight. As does the design. Beowulf Boritt’s established of Tv set screens and minimum furniture surely is hamstrung by a downtown spending budget. It would be awesome to see one thing extra transportive and evocative. So “Harmony”‘s lengthy journey proceeds. But with Manilow’s wonderful new music, and this incredible organization of actors, it can be value the excess mileage.

Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Occasions: Manilow, Sussman and Carlyle mostly triumph in balancing the shifting moods, which is no quick feat since they ought to shuffle broad humor and, well, Nazis. The “comedian” in the band’s name was to be taken virtually, for instance, and the singers were as famed for their phase antics and novelty music as for their tight singing. The downside is that there is a slim line amongst speedy and rushed, and the adult men are drawn in brushstrokes. A pair of love passions, Mary (Sierra Boggess) and Ruth (Jessie Davidson), are even less than that – one is loving, the other feisty, and that’s pretty considerably it.

Raven Snook, Time Out New York: Harmony is a memory musical about a time we will have to hardly ever ignore. A passion challenge by pop hitmaker Barry Manilow and his longtime collaborator Bruce Sussman, this display has been a long time in the making, from its 1997 premiere at California’s La Jolla Playhouse to its recent New York iteration, mounted by Nationwide Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Its story-which juxtaposes the rise of the 3rd Reich with the decrease of a authentic-lifestyle German singing sextet termed the Comedian Harmonists-is certainly well worth telling. But though Harmony is engaging and heartfelt, it peters off into historic hokum.

David Finkle, New York Phase Overview: Carlyle and cast consider care that the broad assortment of thoughts deliver home the musical’s past and existing message. Most distinguished amid them are Zien (providing his most exceptional performance in a long vocation) Feldman as the fervent Younger Rabbi Boggess as the Younger Rabbi’s wise spouse Davidson as the defiant Nazi hater Roman as a Gentile spouse enamored of his Jewish spouse and Owen as the fully commited Comic Harmonists creator. A massive and occupied supporting cast further more signifies the producers’ willpower to get Harmony to the considerably-more substantial time where it also belongs.

Juan A. Ramirez, Theatrely: Dips into melodrama aside, the Comic Harmonists’ story is a single that, as one of them points out from the bounce, is scarcely recognized now. Manilow and Sussman’s get the job done to retain their legacies alive is admirable, and what their musical lacks in out-of-the-boxness, it more than tends to make up via the typical art of telling an unsung story properly. In this circumstance, it truly is sung gorgeously, and six moments in excess of.

Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: What is actually most amazing about “Harmony,” even though, is how little is in require of embellishment. Manilow and his extended-time collaborator, the lyricist/librettist Bruce Sussman, with whom he is written hundreds of music, including “Copacabana (At The Copa),” were being wise to see the makings of a musical in this riveting accurate tale. They developed the initially edition of “Harmony” in 1997 at the La Jolla Playhouse, and a later on variation at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in 2014. I do not know why it truly is taken 25 many years for “Harmony” to make it to New York. All I can say is I am glad I’ve gotten to see it, and I might fortunately see it once more.

Johnny Oleksinski, The New York Submit: Manilow’s musical, which opened Wednesday evening off-Broadway (the composer analyzed positive for COVID and sadly couldn’t show up at), has a large amount going for it. The drama is about a minimal-recognized, fascinating piece of Environment War II heritage that will have audiences racing to Google at intermission. Manilow’s rating, with lyrics by Bruce Sussman, is fairly and often touching. And all of the singers are sensational. Even now, there is some discord.