*A page of history sings and dances its way onto the stage at The Ahmanson Theater in the form of the new musical “Harmony” with the book and lyrics by Bruce Sussman and music by Barry Manilow.
The musical and political pathways of the Comedian Harmonists unfolds as the six member group follows their passion to sing from subways, to night clubs to concert halls. The caveat is that their ambitions rise and fall simultaneously with Hitler’s maniacal reign in Nazi Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
While the evening bursts with one show stopping performance after another from an extraordinary ensemble cast, the fear and frustration of the troupe mirrors our nation’s own Vaudevillian performers of color who had to appear singing, joking, and tap dancing (sometimes in black face) while offsetting the racial atrocities that waged outside of the auditoriums where such gaiety was patronized. It was the order of the day.
Harmony leaves such echoes on the hearts of the audience, as familiar Manilow intervals colorized new songs with an old familiar feeling. Each cast member was equally suited in song and dance as they carried big melodies, party anthems or tender love songs. Barry Manilow surprised the crowd opening night, as he and Bruce Sussman told of the years that this production has been in the making.
Harmony is proof positive that music is universal. Harmony is on stage live now through April 13th, 2014 at the Ahmanson Theater 135 N. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA. 90012. Harmony is brilliantly directed by Tony Speciale, with stellar choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter. Musical Director is John O’Neil and set design by Tobin Ost.
Harmony is presented by the Center Theatre Group and The Alliance Theatre. The Los Angeles production of Harmony is generously supported in part by Artistic Director’s Circle members Ruth Flinkman-Marandy & Ben Marandy. Harmony was originally presented by the La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, California. For tickets and more information go to: http://www.centertheatregroup.org/tickets/Harmony
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