NEW YORK - The idea of the musical "Harmony" blossomed into existence a quarter-century ago, and now, the musical’s creators are finally pinching themselves that Broadway is no longer just a dream.
"It’s been a long road," Barry Manilow said. "It’s been so frustrating because we believed in this show from the very beginning. Yes, it’s changed since the beginning, but Harmony is still Harmony after all these years."
The legendary musician, along with his longtime songwriting collaborator and lyricist of Harmony, Bruce Sussman, sat down with FOX 5 NY's Richard Giacovas to talk about how they never gave up trying to get Harmony to Broadway.
The duo have watched Harmony play all over the country, from San Diego to Atlanta – even a short stint last year at the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene.
"I think launching the space shuttle is easier than getting a show up on Broadway," Sussman said.
Harmony tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, an all-male group of singers performing in Germany prior to World War II.
Some members of the group were Jewish and once the Nazi regime came into existence, the group vanished.
The musical’s premiere eerily coincides with issues our country still faces today – immigration, bigotry, and antisemitism, and although Manilow and Sussman acknowledge the show's rollercoaster of emotions, there is still an uplifting message that’s told through Manilow’s music and Sussman’s lyrics.
"It’s not a bummer. It’s tragic, but it’s not a negative evening at all. It’s funny," said Manilow. "If we hadn’t done this, nobody would know about these guys. They were brilliant. Huge. The Nazis destroyed everything they did."
"It’s not about us, it’s about them. It makes my heart sing. Mission accomplished," Sussman said.
Harmony is now in previews at the Barrymore Theatre. The musical’s opening night is set for Nov. 13.
Both Manilow and Sussman plan on attending. It will be extra special for Manilow, who got COVID on the musical’s off-Broadway opening last year.
Despite all of Manilow's top hits since the 70's, the showman of the generation said the opening night of Harmony will be the highlight of his career.