Covid Prevents Barry Manilow From Attending Opening Night Of His New Musical ‘Harmony’: “Cruelest Thing That Has Ever Happened To Me”

Barry Manilow Greg Allen/Invision/AP

A new stage musical co-written by Barry Manilow opens tonight in New York, but the decades-in-the-making project will have to go on without Manilow there to support it: He has Covid.

“I am heartbroken to say that I have just tested positive for Covid-19 and won’t be able to attend tonight’s opening night performance of my new musical Harmony,” Manilow said in a statement. “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.”

Manilow’s statement concludes, “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!”

Harmony: A New Musical, written by Manilow and his longtime collaborator Bruce Sussman, opens tonight at Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City, Manhattan. A presentation by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the musical is directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle and stars Chip Zien and Sierra Boggess.

Harmony tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, an ensemble of six talented young men in 1920s Germany who took the world by storm with their signature blend of sophisticated close harmonies and uproarious stage antics, until their inclusion of Jewish singers put them on a collision course with history.

Playing the six Comedian Harmonists are Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman and Steven Telsey. Jessie Davidson plays Ruth, with Ana Hoffman set to portray Josephine Baker.

NYTF’s most widely known work was the sold-out Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, which later moved uptown to an award-winning run at Off Broadway’s Stage 42.

The limited engagement of Harmony runs for seven weeks.

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