The Comedian Harmonists’ impact on the perception of Jewish people in the world is a complex and nuanced topic. Their music was beloved by both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. Here is a brief look at the positive impact they had.
Challenged stereotypes: The Harmonists’ success as entertainers, their polished musicality and comedic timing, directly challenged existing negative stereotypes about Jewish people. They presented a counter-narrative of Jewish talent, sophistication, and cultural contribution.
Promoted assimilation: Their popularity in mainstream German society, particularly before the rise of the Nazi regime, fostered a sense of assimilation and acceptance for some Jewish people. They blurred the lines between Jewish and non-Jewish cultural identities, at least in certain circles.
Preserved Jewish culture: Despite singing primarily in German, the Harmonists incorporated elements of Jewish musical traditions and humor into their act. This helped to preserve and celebrate Jewish cultural heritage for both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.
Though silenced, and forced to disband their legacy refused to fade. Now, a new generation and audience is learning about The Comedian Harmonists’ impact in Harmony on Broadway.
The Musical about The Comedian Harmonists
Harmony, a new musical about The Comedian Harmonists, is now on Broadway.
The complete Broadway cast includes Chip Zien as Rabbi, Sierra Boggess as Mary, Julie Benko as Ruth, Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey as the Comedian Harmonists, Allison Semmes as Josephine Baker, Andrew O’Shanick as Standartenfϋhrer, Zak Edwards, Dan Hoy, Bruce Landry, Rhonni Rose Mantilla, Daniel Z. Miller, Benjamin H. Moore, Matthew Mucha, Constantine Pappas, Kayleen Seidl, Kyla Stone, Bronwyn Tarboton, Kate Wesler, Stuart Zagnit, and Lee Zarrett.
To learn more about Harmony: A New Musical, click here.