The National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene today announced that musical theater icons Chip Zien and Sierra Boggess will lead the cast of the acclaimed musical Harmony by legendary Barry Manilow and his longtime collaborator Bruce Sussman in March 2022. At the Helm will be Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle directing the New York debut of this gripping musical.
The musical tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, a set of six talented young men in 1920s Germany who took the world by storm with their signature blend of sophisticated close harmonies and boisterous antics, until their inclusion of Jewish singers puts them on a collision course with history.
Chip Zien was recently seen as the bombastic Mr. Stopnick in The Roundabout’s acclaimed production of Caroline, or Change. He originated the central role of Baker in Sondheim/Lapine’s Into The Woods (LA Drama-Logue Award, Outer Critics nomination) and originated the role of Mendel in William Finn’s highly decorated Falsettos.
We saw him on Broadway in It Shoulda Been You, preceded by The Big Knife, The People in the Picture by The Roundabout, The Country Girl directed by Mike Nichols and in the role of Thenardier in the revival of LES MISERABLES. He appeared at Tommy Tune’s Grand Hotel as Otto Kringelein, the memorable dancing accountant. Other Broadway credits include The Boys From Syracuse, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, All Over Town directed by Dustin Hoffman, The Suicide starring Derek Jacobi.
On television, Mr. Zien appeared in the final season of House of Cards. He received rave reviews for his recurring role on HBO’s The Night Of. He has been a series regular on The Caroline Rhea Show, Almost Perfect, Now And Again, Deadline, Shell Game, Love, Sidney and Reggie. Over the years, Mr. Zien has appeared on more than 50 popular shows, as well as numerous pilots.
His film career has been varied. Her most recent starring role was in Simchas and Sorrows, which just wrapped. He played the CEO of the President of the United States in The Siege and was the voice of the infamous Howard the Duck.
Additionally, Mr. Zien has performed his solo cabaret and concert at 54 Below and his CD, Seriously Upbeat, recorded live, is available on the web. Mr. Zien attended the University of Pennsylvania. His wife, Susan Pilarre, is a former soloist with NYC Ballet and currently teaches at the School of American Ballet. They are the proud parents of two wonderful daughters and three grandchildren.
Sierra Boggess was seen on Broadway in the Tony School Of Rock nominated musical It Shoulda Been You directed by David Hyde Pierce, two separate engagements from the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera (the first for the 25th anniversary of the show and second opposite Norm Lewis), the revival of Master Class (opposite Tyne Daly) and The Little Mermaid (Drama Desk and Drama League nominations, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award).
London theater credits include LES MISERABLES, The Phantom of the Opera 25th anniversary concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Love Never Dies (Olivier Award nomination).
Other New York theater credits include Manhattan Concert Productions’ The Secret Garden at Lincoln Center; the Guys & Dolls one night concert at Carnegie Hall opposite Nathan Lane, Patrick Wilson and Megan Mullally; the latest Off-Broadway cast of Love, Loss, and What I Wore; and Music in the Air for the City Center Encores! series. She also starred as Christine Daae in the Las Vegas production of The Phantom of the Opera. Regionally, she has been seen in Into The Woods (Hollywood Bowl), Ever After (Alliance Theatre), Age of Innocence (world premiere, Hartford Stage and McCarter Theater), Princesses (world premiere, Goodspeed Opera House and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre), and the national tour of Les MISERABLES.
Film and television credits include Vulture Club starring Susan Sarandon and the web series What’s Your Emergency, directed by Michael Urie.
His recordings include School Of Rock, It Shoulda Been You, The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Concert (also on DVD), Symphonic Recording of Love Never Dies, The Little Mermaid and Andrew Lippa’s A Little Princess. Concert appearances include the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series The Lyrics of David Zippel, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and Broadway by the Year at City Hall. Sierra has toured worldwide through Australia, Japan, Paris and London with her concert, which has been preserved live and released on CD, Awakening: Live at 54 Below. She recently released a duets album with Julian Ovenden made during the pandemic titled Together At A Distance. www.sierraboggess.com
Harmony is based in part on The Comedian Harmonist Archive, curated by the late Dr. Peter Czada.
Fresh off the smash hit Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, which won multiple accolades including a 2019 Drama Desk Award, NYTF will present Harmony in English, with previews starting March 23, 2022 and production April 13 through May 8. , 2022, in the newly renovated Edmond J. Safra Hall Theater at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, NYC. For Harmony tickets, visit NYTF.org or call 855-449-4658. Contact 212-655-7653 for all other inquiries.
Just before Harmony, the NYTF and New York City Opera (Michael Capasso, General Manager) join forces to present the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s (Intimate Apparel, Ellen West) new opera, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, based on Giorgio Bassani’s 1962 novel (considered a modern classic which is also the basis of Vittorio De Sica’s 1970 film adaptation starring Dominique Sanda and Helmet Berger – winner of an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1972 ). With a libretto by Michael Korie (Flying Over Sunset, War Paint, Gray Gardens), The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis is set on the eve of World War II and tells the story of an aristocratic Italian-Jewish family, the Finzi-Continis. , who believe they will be immune to the changes happening around them. As they make a gracious refuge in their garden, walling off the unpleasantness of the outside world, Italy forms its alliance with Germany and begins to enforce anti-Semitic racial laws. But the Finzi-Contini discover too late that no one is safe, no one is untouchable. Strictly limited engagement begins January 27, 2022.
Harmony will direct and choreograph Tony Award winner and Emmy nominee Warren Carlyle. Carlyle won a 2014 Tony Award for his choreography for After Midnight, for which he was also nominated for a Tony Award as Best Director. Carlyle was again nominated for a 2019 Tony Award for his choreography for the critically acclaimed cover of Kiss Me Kate. Other Broadway credits include Hello, Dolly!, She Loves Me, On the Twentieth Century, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, A Christmas Story and Chaplin. He directed and choreographed Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, as well as the 2019 Hugh Jackman World Tour. He also choreographed the current Broadway revival of The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.
“I’m thrilled to lead Harmony and help bring this show to New York. It’s an important message and it couldn’t have found a better home to start a run in New York than the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A living memorial to the Holocaust,” said Warren Carlyle.
NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek said, “The heart of the NYTF’s mission will always be the promotion of the great literary, dramatic and musical traditions of Yiddish theater. We will venture beyond Yiddish when we have the opportunity to tell important Jewish stories, in other languages. , especially when those stories would otherwise go untold.” He continued: “The rich career of the Comedian Harmonists, one of the most popular performers in pre-war Europe, shows how anti-Semitism can infect even the most “civilized” societies. The National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene is proud to bring their story to a wider audience by presenting the remarkable musical harmony of Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman.”
“In our long and exciting collaboration, nothing excites us more than today’s announcement that our beloved Harmony will be performing at the National Yiddish Theater Foksbiene in New York. It’s what we’ve always wanted to do. to create an original show with original music based on a story that needs to be told,” said Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman.
This production is produced in association with Ken Davenport and Sandi Moran. Davenport recently won a Tony Award for Best Musical Revival for Once on This Island and a Tony Award for Best Musical for Kinky Boots, and received Tony Award nominations for Spring Awakening (Revival of a Musical). ), The Visit (Musical), and You’re Welcome America (special theatrical event). Garry C. Kief is the producer. Other producers are Amuse Inc., Susan Dubow, Mapleseed Productions, Michelle Kaplan and Neil Gooding Productions. Miranda Gohh is associate producer. This presentation is produced in association with Wilfried Rimensberger of Stiletto Entertainment.
Now celebrating its 107th season, the Tony Award-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene (NYTF) is the oldest consecutively produced theater in the United States and the oldest continuously operating Yiddish theater company in the world. NYTF is in residence at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek and Executive Director Dominick Balletta, NYTF is dedicated to creating a living legacy through the arts, connecting generations and connecting communities. NYTF aims to bring history to life by reviving and restoring lost and forgotten works, commissioning new works, and adapting pre-existing works into the 21st century. Serving a diverse audience of performing arts patrons, culture enthusiasts, Yiddish language lovers and the general public, the company presents plays, musicals, concerts, conferences , interactive educational workshops and community development activities in English and Yiddish, English and Russian. surtitles accompanying the performances. NYTF provides access to a century-old cultural heritage and inspires the imagination of the next generation to contribute to this valuable body of work.
The NYTF production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish sold out for six months before moving to the top of Stage 42 of Off-Broadway. She won a Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Revival of a Musical), an Outer Critics Circle Award (Outstanding Revival of a Musical), a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award Special Citation, a Lucille Lortel Award (Actor outstanding principal, Steven Skybell); and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award (Best Musical Revival). He has been nominated for other Drama Desk Awards (Outstanding Director of a Musical, Joel Grey; Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Steven Skybell; Outstanding Orchestrations, Larry Blank); Lucille Lortel Awards (Outstanding Revival; Outstanding Director, Joel Gray; Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Jackie Hoffman); Drama League Awards (Outstanding Revival of a Musical; Distinguished Performance Award, Steven Skybell); Outer Critics Circle Awards (Outstanding Director of a Musical, Joel Gray; Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Steven Skybell); and a Chita Rivera Award (Outstanding Ensemble).