Producers Ken Davenport, Sandi Moran, and Garry Kief announced that Julie Benko is set to join the company of Harmony, the new musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, playing the role of “Ruth”. The production will begin previews at Broadway’s Barrymore Theatre on Wednesday, October 18, ahead of an official Opening Night on Monday, November 13.
Julie Benko makes the leap to originating her first role on Broadway from her current breakout acclaimed performance as the alternate for Fanny Brice in the Broadway hit musical revival of Funny Girl. She is the recipient of the 2023 Theatre World Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theatre which will be presented on June 5th.
Benko says, “It is rare to be offered the chance to be part of a Broadway show that resonates so deeply on both personal and political levels. I’m so proud to be a part of Harmony and tremendously grateful to Barry, Bruce, Warren, Ken, and the entire team for entrusting me with Ruth’s story. I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room with the brilliant company this Fall.”
Tickets are now on sale.
Benko joins the previously announced Chip Zien, who stars as “Rabbi,” along with the six Comedian Harmonists Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey. Further casting and additional news about Harmony will be announced in the coming weeks.
Harmony features an original new score by legendary Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Barry Manilow with lyrics and book by Drama Desk Award Winner, Bruce Sussman. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle (The Music Man, Hello Dolly!), this timely and captivating rags-to-riches story lost to history comes to dazzling life with a sensational cast of Broadway favorites.
Based on the unbelievable true story, Harmony tells the tale of the most successful entertainers you’ve never heard of. . . . until now. In the 1920s and 30s, The Comedian Harmonists sold millions of records, made dozens of films, and sold out the biggest theaters around the world. Their heavenly harmonies and musical comedy antics catapulted these six talented young men from singing in the subway tunnels of Berlin to international superstardom.
What happened next is the story of Harmony.
Harmony is based in part on The Comedian Harmonist Archive as curated by the late Dr. Peter Czada.
A New York Times Critic’s Pick, the musical received a 2002 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Musical and an award for Outstanding Best Book of a Musical and the Off-Broadway Alliance’s Best New Musical for 2022. It also received eight 2022-2023 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations including Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and two 2022-2023 Lucille Lortel Award nominations including Outstanding Musical.
Harmony comes to Broadway following a sold-out award-winning run last spring at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (Artistic Director, Zalmen Mlotek and Executive Director, Dominick Balletta).
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