A funny thing happened to Barry Pincus on his way to writing Broadway musicals: He got sidelined as the pop star Barry Manilow, who sold 85 million records and produced 51 Top 40 hits.
Finally, at the age of 80, Manilow has written the Broadway musical he long dreamed of, Harmony. Tapping into his Yiddishkeit Brooklyn roots, he created the sound of Harmony, about the 1920s German musical sensation the Comedian Harmonists, who sold millions of records, packed concert halls and starred in dozens of films . . . until 1935, when they were banned by the Nazis because three of the group members were Jewish.
Now their story is brought to new audiences in Harmony, playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre after a sold-out, award-winning downtown run that made it a New York Times Critic’s Pick.
To discuss the group’s signature blend of sophisticated close harmonies with uproarious stage antics and their quest for true harmony in the most discordant of times, Manilow joins us with Bruce Sussman, who wrote the book and lyrics, as well as cast members*:
Chip Zien, Rabbi
Sierra Boggess, Mary
Julie Benko, Ruth
Sean Bell, Bobby
Danny Kornfeld, Young Rabbi
Zal Owen, Harry
Eric Peters, Erich
Blake Roman, Chopin
Steven Telsey, Lesh
Dubbed “the showman of our generation” by Rolling Stone in 1990, Barry Manilow grew up surrounded by Holocaust survivors in Williamsburg. After writing the score for an Off-Broadway musical, he worked as a pianist, producer and arranger. Following his 1974 breakthrough as a singer with “Mandy,” he spent six decades on the Top-40 charts, was the top draw at Radio City Music Hall, sold out London’s Royal Albert Hall and continued touring through his 72nd birthday.
*Cast appearance subject to change
Monday, January 8, 2024 | 7:00 PM Eastern