Monday, September 17, 2007
10th Anniversary of HARMONY
In this joint
All encounters with counterpoint
End in Harmony
And it's clear
No man's a solo here
Not even me...
I cannot believe it has been almost ten years since I first saw Harmony (and before anyone groans oh God, Barry Manilow, hear me out). Not a huge Manilow fan (ok, not a fan at all) I still went to see Harmony with an open mind out of respect for Patrick Wilson who was playing the role of Erwin "Chopin" Bootz (my fascination with Patrick is legendary and has been noted previously on this blog and all over the internet for the past eleven years).
If you are not familiar with Harmony, it is a musical (NOT a comedy) based on a real group of performers called the Comedian Harmonists whose popularity in pre-World War II Europe has been compared to that of the Beatles in the 1960s, and their comedic films were favorably compared to those of the Marx Brothers. Because some of the members of the group were Jewish, the Nazi party banned them from performing and had most traces of their existence eradicated. This play is the story of how the group was formed, their rise to success and their demise as a result of Hitler's regime.
The story of Harmony is very powerful and the music and songs are wonderful. I flew down to San Diego to see Harmony several different times, each time leaving the theatre with tears streaming down my face. The show had several production issues and never made it to Broadway, which in my opinion is Broadway's loss.