HARMONY at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

Beloved pop songwriter-singer Barry Manilow (“Copacabana,” “Mandy”) and his longtime collaborator, lyricist-librettist Barry Sussman, are fulfilling a longtime dream with “Harmony,” their seriocomic musical. The show was introduced in an appealing production in 1997 at La Jolla Playhouse in Southern California. This project had always aimed for Broadway, though additional work on the piece was clearly called for in that initial rendition. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz –  TheaterMania

In the new musical with music by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, Jews and gentiles find Harmony together, celebrating their differences in a fascistic world that stomps on individuality. The play may still need a little fine-tuning, but as a whole, Harmony is an enriching experience with several memorable numbers. Many flaws can be overlooked due to this production’s excellent cast and insightful staging by Tony Speciale. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This potent new musical, with music by Barry Manilow and book and lyrics by Bruce Sussman, focuses on a fascinating, little-known footnote to history. It tells the largely factual tale of the Comedian Harmonists, the six-man singing group who were the first boy-band to become, in the 1930s, an international success. (Composer Manilow calls them the Beatles of their day.)  Read more..

Don Shirley – LA Observed

Center Theatre Group has been obsessed with young guys’ bands in recent years. Just since 2013 began, CTG offered the forgettable new musicals “Backbeat” (about the early Beatles) and “The Black Suits” (about a Long Island garage band.) The 2011-12 season at CTG’s Ahmanson Theatre included post-Broadway runs of the dramatically threadbare “American Idiot” (with a Green Day score) and “Fela!” (about the Afro-pop star.) 

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

 A long-gestating dream project by composer Barry Manilow and his collaborating wordsmith Bruce Sussman (Copacabana: The Musical, the neglected Disney animated feature Oliver and Company), Harmony is an ambitious musical doggedly committed to mimicking its betters: near beer Sondheim, watered down Kander & Ebb, tempered Rodgers & Hammerstein. Read more…

Now running through April 13.