Barry Manilow’s new musical opens at National Yiddish Theater

The New York Times crowned Harmony a Critic’s Pick, saying, “It is impossible to forget why we are watching the show.”

 Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman's Harmony premieries on April 14 in New York City. (photo credit: Julieta Cervantes)
Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman's Harmony premieries on April 14 in New York City.
(photo credit: Julieta Cervantes)

Jewish-American singer Barry Manilow’s new musical Harmony, created in tandem with famed lyricist and long-time musical partner Bruce Sussman, opened its doors at New York City’s National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) on Wednesday night.

The story’s plot follows a group of comedian singers as Hitler rises to power in Germany. The show starts with German Jews being stripped of their rights throughout the country — Jewish music becomes banned — but Hitler allows the “Comedian Harmonists” group to continue performing, acting as a propaganda wing for Nazi Germany overseas.

The play, based on a true story, will run through May 8th, 2022. The New York Times crowned it a Critic’s Pick, saying, “It is impossible to forget why we are watching the show.” Variety magazine called the play “Sensational. Every element of Harmony clicks in place like a gorgeous puzzle. Manilow’s pop prowess is ever-present.”

The premiere of the show had full attendance, though one notable guest was missing — Barry Manilow himself. The renowned “Copacabana” singer was not able to attend, as he tested positive for COVID-19 on the day of the premiere.

 Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman at a rehearsal for their musical Harmony in New York City. (credit: Julieta Cervantes) Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman at a rehearsal for their musical Harmony in New York City. (credit: Julieta Cervantes)

“I am heartbroken to say that I have just tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be able to attend tonight’s performance of my new musical Harmony. This just might be the cruelest thing that has ever happened to me: 25 years waiting for this show to premiere in New York, and I can’t attend,” said Manilow in a statement.

“Even in the face of this pandemic, we New Yorkers remain the toughest, staunchest people on the planet—so put on a mask and go see a show,” Manilow stated.

For tickets to Harmony, visit www.nytf.org.