Back in February, I wrote about a very interesting musical, Harmony, that I'd seen in its world premiere engagement at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse in 1997. The show was written by Barry Manilow and Barry Sussman and was quite good -- great in the first act, a little flawed in the second act, but overall deserving of a life beyond Southern California, especially with some further work. As I noted, the show has not yet made it to Broadway, though Manilow has kept the flame alive and keeps talking about the possibility.
Well, it's not Broadway, but I just got a nice email from the folks at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta to say that they will be putting on a production of Harmony this September. To be clear, however, though it isn't Broadway, this is no small thing -- the Alliance is a highly-regarded company that's even a Tony Award-winner for best regional theatre. Alliance also has a very good track record premiering such Tony-winners as the musical The Color Purple, Aida by Elton John and Tim Rice, and Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo. (Uhry is the playwright of Driving Miss Daisy.)
Harmony tells the dramatic and interesting story of the Comedian Harmonistes, a wildly popular precision singing and comedy group in Germany before World War II, made all the more fascinating for being comprised of members of mixed religions.
No cast has been set yet. But the website notes that this is a co-production with the "Center Theatre Group." Given that that's the organization in Los Angeles that runs the Ahmanson, Dorothy Chandler and Taper theaters, it would seem to bode well that the show has plans to travel and perhaps come to Los Angeles. But for those in the Atlanta area in September, you have first dibs.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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