Theater News

Barry Manilow's Harmony and Ricky Ian Gordon's Finzi-Continis Opera to Have NYC Premieres

The productions will be presented by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.

Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow
(© David Gordon)

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene has announced its 2022 season, featuring Barry Manilow’s Harmony and Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, with a score by Gordon and libretto by Michael Korie, is presented with New York City Opera and runs January 19-30. The piece is based on Giorgio Bassani’s 1962 novel and Vittorio De Sica’s 1970 film adaptation, which tell the story of a wealthy Italian-Jewish family on the eve of World War II who think they will be immune to all the changes happening around them. Richard Stafford directs and choreographs, with James Lowe conducting. Set design is by John Farrell, lighting is by Susan Roth, and costumes are by Ildikó Debreczeni.

Manilow’s long-aborning musical Harmony will be presetned March 23-May 8, with Warren Carlyle directing and choreographing. The production was originally scheduled to run during the same period in 2020, though the run was delayed in late 2019 due to a variety of conflicts.

With music by Manilow and book and lyrics by Bruce Sussman, Harmony “tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, a group of six talented young men, Jewish and gentile, who came together in 1920s Germany and took the world by storm with their signature blend of sophisticated close harmonies and uproarious stage antics. Together they sold millions of records, starred in a dozen films and packed the houses of the most prestigious concert halls around the globe, until the world they knew changed forever.

Both shows will be presented in the newly renovated Edmond J. Safra Hall theatre at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.