‘Harmony,’ Barry Manilow’s Passion Project, to Close on Broadway

‘Harmony,’ Barry Manilow’s Passion Project, to Close on Broadway

Harmony,” Barry Manilow’s long-in-the-works musical about an early-20th-century German sextet that ran afoul of the Nazi regime, will end an abbreviated Broadway run on Feb. 4.

Manilow and his longtime collaborator Bruce Sussman have been working on the show for more than a quarter-century, inspired by a documentary film about the Comedian Harmonists, an ensemble that included some Jewish members, which was unacceptable to the Nazis.

The musical, directed by Warren Carlyle, opened on Nov. 13; at the time of its closing it is expected to have played 24 previews and 96 regular performances. It was capitalized for up to $15 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission; that money has not been recouped.

Manilow wrote the music for the show; Sussman wrote the book and the lyrics. Over the years, the show had productions in San Diego, Atlanta and Los Angeles, and then in 2022 there was a successful Off Broadway production at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan’s Battery Park neighborhood.

The Broadway production features Chip Zien portraying a surviving member of the group, reflecting back from 1988 to its history in the late 1920s and early ’30s. Ken Davenport, Sandi Moran and Garry Kief are the lead producers; they announced the closing Tuesday evening.

The show opened to mixed reviews, and has been running at a time when overall Broadway attendance has not yet rebounded to prepandemic levels. Last week, “Harmony” grossed $534,769, which is not enough to sustain a musical of its size; its houses, at the Barrymore Theater, were just 77 percent occupied, according to data released by the Broadway League.

Many shows are struggling, and industry leaders are worried about this spring, when there is a sizable crop of musicals and plays planning to open, while production costs are high and audience numbers remain lower than they once were. Another musical, “Shucked,” closed on Sunday after a 10-month run, and last year’s Tony-winning musical, “Kimberly Akimbo,” has announced that it will end its run in April.

Source link