CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR HARMONY – A NEW MUSICAL, BY BARRY MANILOW AND BRUCE SUSSMAN, DIRECTED BY TONY SPECIALE
Atlanta’s Tony Award® winning Alliance Theatre is pleased to announce the cast and creative team behind its upcoming production, HARMONY – A NEW MUSICAL, with music by Barry Manilow and book & lyrics by Bruce Sussman. HARMONY tells the true story of The Comedian Harmonists, a close harmony ensemble of six young men in 1930s Germany, who took the world by storm until their religious composition – a mixture of Jews and Gentiles – put them on a collision course with history. HARMONY is a co-production with Center Theatre Group.
HARMONY is directed by Drama Desk Award nominee Tony Speciale (Classic Stage Company: Unnatural Acts, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). “HARMONY is about a group of young men who came together during a terrifying time in history to create something exquisite. Their heartbreaking and untold story was the impetus for Barry and Bruce to write HARMONY, and it’s what compelled me to work on this important project,” said Speciale. “Together the authors have woven an intricate and epic piece of music theatre about memory, collaboration, hope, brotherhood, survival and redemption. HARMONY is a celebration of these six brilliant men and an inspiring reminder of the human capacity to make great art, even in our darkest hours.”
When Manilow and Sussman began working on HARMONY, Roman “Rabbi” Cykowski was the only surviving member of The Comedian Harmonists, and was able to talk with them about his life and experiences with the group before passing away in 1998. His memories, plus available historical information, provide the basis for the musical. The character of Rabbi, who also acts as narrator for the story, will be played by Wayne Alan Wilcox. Wilcox’s Broadway credits include Chaplin and The Normal Heart. Wilcox also played Gordon in the film version of Rent and had a recurring role on the popular TV series The Gilmore Girls.
Also joining the cast in principle roles – Tony Yazbeck (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Gypsy) as Harry; Douglas Williams as Bobby; Chris Dwan (Off-Broadway: The Old Boy, Peter & I) as Erich; Will Taylor (A Chorus Line) as Chopin; Will Blum (The Book of Mormon) as Lesh; Leigh Ann Larkin (A Little Night Music, Gypsy) as Mary; and Hannah Corneau as Ruth.
The ensemble for HARMONY consists of eleven actors who must play over thirty roles including historical figures like Marlene Dietrich, Albert Einstein, and Richard Strauss – all of whom the Comedian Harmonists really knew. Members of the ensemble include Shayne Kennon, Patrick O’Neill, Greg Kamp, Charles Osborne, Bryan Thomas Hunt, Chad Lindsey, Brandon O’Dell, Lauren Elaine Taylor, Kim Sava, Lindsay Moore, and Liberty Cogen.
“We are both thrilled by the stunningly talented cast and design team who will be joining us for this production of HARMONY,” said creators Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. “Given Tony Speciale’s fresh and blazingly theatrical vision for the piece, we now have every reason to believe this will be the HARMONY we’ve always hoped to see.”
Members of the HARMONY creative team include Set & Costume Designer Tobin Ost (Jekyll & Hyde Revival, Newsies The Musical); Projection Designer Darrel Maloney (American Idiot); LX Designer Jeff Croiter (Jekyll & Hyde Revival, The Anarchist), winner of the 2012 Tony Award® for Best Lighting Design of a Play for his work on Peter and the Starcatcher; and Choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter (On a Clear Day You Can See Forever).
HARMONY will include approximately eighteen musical numbers guided by Music Director Patrick Vaccariello (Annie Revival, Come Fly Away) and Assistant Music Director John O’Neill. Doug Walter (The Blonde in the Thunderbird) will serve as Orchestrator. John Shivers, winner of the 2013 Tony Award® for Best Sound Design of a Musical for his work on the Tony Award® winning musical Kinky Boots, will serve as Sound Designer. Howard Begun will serve as Copyist.
“A clear testament to the sheer power and bravura writing of this piece is the level of talent it continues to attract,” said Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre. “To welcome a cast, a director and a creative team of this caliber of artistry to The Alliance and to Atlanta gives me great delight – and seems exactly right. Genius begets genius.”
Manilow and Sussman went on to say, “We are tremendously excited that this is the team who will join us in our effort to serve the memory of these six extraordinary young men and the women they loved, whose story this is, and who sought to find harmony in what turned out to be the most discordant chapter in human history.”
Tickets for HARMONY may be purchased now as part of a season ticket package. Single tickets for HARMONY go on sale July 1, 10:00am. For tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/harmony or call the box office at 404.733.5000.
HARMONY – A NEW MUSICAL
September 6 – October 6, 2013
Music by Barry Manilow; Book and Lyrics by Bruce Sussman; Directed by Tony Speciale
They were the first sensational boy band: six talented young men who came together in 1920s Germany and took the world by storm with their signature blend of sophisticated close harmonies and uproarious stage antics. The Comedian Harmonists sold millions of records, starred in a dozen films and packed the houses of the most prestigious concert halls around the globe until the world they knew forever changed. Their amazing story inspired longtime collaborators, the legendary Barry Manilow and theatre veteran Bruce Sussman, to create a spectacular new musical with an original score that celebrates this extraordinary group of friends and ensures their quest for true harmony in the most discordant chapter of human history will never be forgotten. For tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/harmony or call 404.733.5000.