HARMONY Opens at Countrywide Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

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

Introduced by Nationwide Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) for only four additional weeks, Harmony was composed 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 true story of the Comic Harmonists, an ensemble of 6 talented young adult men in 1920s Germany who took the world by storm with their signature blend of refined close harmonies and uproarious stage antics, until eventually their inclusion of Jewish singers set them on a collision course with historical past.

Contemporary from the stellar achievement of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, which won several honors such as a 2019 Drama Desk Award, NYTF presents Harmony in English. Previews begin this Wednesday, and the output opens on April 13 and operates through Could 8, 2022, in the recently renovated Edmond J. Safra Hall theatre at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Residing Memorial to the Holocaust, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Location in Battery Park Town, Manhattan.

Enjoying the six Comedian Harmonists are Sean Bell (Nationwide Tour: A Bronx Tale: The Musical), Danny Kornfeld (National Tour: Lease), Zal Owen (Broadway: The Band’s Visit), Eric Peters (Countrywide Tour: Motown: The Musical), Blake Roman (Regional: Newsies), and Steven Telsey (Countrywide Tour: The Reserve of Mormon). Jessie Davidson (Regional: The Thriller of Edwin Drood) performs Ruth, with Ana Hoffman (Nationwide Tour: Dreamgirls) established to portray Josephine Baker – a major superstar whom the Harmonists encountered on their way to the prime. Kenny Morris (Broadway: Hairspray) will be the standby for Zien’s Rabbi.

The ensemble involves 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 reserve, by Manilow’s longtime collaborator Sussman, also tends to soar to extremes. A massive portion of the initially act is spent introducing us to the six Comedian Harmonists in a catchy but prolonged opening variety. They then have a blink-and-you-miss out on-it sequence of staying unknowns and – hey presto! – are all of a sudden world-famed. The Borscht Belt jokes throughout are exciting, but there are a several as well a lot of. Two roles that could use extra meat are the wives, performed by Sierra Boggess and Jessie Davidson. Conflicted about their husbands’ roles in Germany’s moral downfall, they’re perhaps interesting. Nonetheless, having said that stunning their songs is, the parts come off as slight. As does the design and style. Beowulf Boritt’s established of Tv screens and minimal home furniture absolutely is hamstrung by a downtown funds. It would be awesome to see some thing far more transportive and evocative. So “Harmony”‘s long journey continues. But with Manilow’s wonderful tunes, and this extraordinary firm of actors, it is really truly worth the further mileage.

Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Periods: Manilow, Sussman and Carlyle largely be successful in balancing the shifting moods, which is no straightforward feat for the reason that they ought to shuffle broad humor and, perfectly, Nazis. The “comedian” in the band’s title was to be taken pretty much, for example, and the singers had been as popular for their phase antics and novelty tunes as for their tight singing. The draw back is that there is a skinny line between fast and rushed, and the adult males are drawn in brushstrokes. A pair of love interests, Mary (Sierra Boggess) and Ruth (Jessie Davidson), are even less than that – one is loving, the other feisty, and that is rather substantially it.

Raven Snook, Time Out New York: Harmony is a memory musical about a time we ought to hardly ever ignore. A enthusiasm project by pop hitmaker Barry Manilow and his longtime collaborator Bruce Sussman, this present has been a long time in the earning, from its 1997 premiere at California’s La Jolla Playhouse to its current New York iteration, mounted by Nationwide Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Its tale-which juxtaposes the rise of the Third Reich with the drop of a serious-daily life German singing sextet known as the Comic Harmonists-is definitely truly worth telling. But while Harmony is partaking and heartfelt, it peters off into historic hokum.

David Finkle, New York Phase Review: Carlyle and cast consider treatment that the vast range of feelings ship dwelling the musical’s past and present-day information. Most outstanding amid them are Zien (providing his most impressive effectiveness in a lengthy career) Feldman as the fervent Young Rabbi Boggess as the Younger Rabbi’s wise spouse Davidson as the defiant Nazi hater Roman as a Gentile husband enamored of his Jewish wife and Owen as the committed Comic Harmonists creator. A large and chaotic supporting cast additional indicates the producers’ perseverance to get Harmony to the a great deal-even bigger time the place it also belongs.

Juan A. Ramirez, Theatrely: Dips into melodrama aside, the Comedian Harmonists’ story is one that, as just one of them details out from the jump, is barely acknowledged now. Manilow and Sussman’s function to continue to keep their legacies alive is admirable, and what their musical lacks in out-of-the-boxness, it a lot more than will make up by way of the classic artwork of telling an unsung story well. In this scenario, it is really sung gorgeously, and 6 occasions above.

Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: What is actually most extraordinary about “Harmony,” even though, is how very little is in want of embellishment. Manilow and his long-time collaborator, the lyricist/librettist Bruce Sussman, with whom he’s composed hundreds of tracks, such as “Copacabana (At The Copa),” had been wise to see the makings of a musical in this riveting real tale. They created the first edition of “Harmony” in 1997 at the La Jolla Playhouse, and a later version at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in 2014. I really don’t know why it’s taken 25 years for “Harmony” to make it to New York. All I can say is I am glad I have gotten to see it, and I would happily see it again.

Johnny Oleksinski, The New York Write-up: Manilow’s musical, which opened Wednesday evening off-Broadway (the composer analyzed favourable for COVID and regrettably could not show up at), has a good deal heading for it. The drama is about a tiny-recognised, interesting piece of Environment War II background that will have audiences racing to Google at intermission. Manilow’s rating, with lyrics by Bruce Sussman, is quite and at times touching. And all of the singers are sensational. Continue to, there is some discord.