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How long were the Comedian Harmonists together?

A Harmonious Beginning (1927-1928)

The story of the Comedian Harmonists starts in 1927 when actor-singer Harry Frommermann, inspired by American close-harmony groups like The Revelers, decided to form his own ensemble. He assembled a talented group of five singers: Robert Biberti, Roman Cycowski, Erich A. Collin, Ari Leschnikoff, and Erwin Bootz. They named themselves “Die Comedian Harmonists” and began performing in Berlin cabarets and theaters.

Peak of Popularity (1928-1933)

The group’s success was immediate. Their unique blend of sophisticated vocal arrangements, playful comedy, and charming stage presence resonated with audiences across Germany and Europe. They toured extensively, performing in prestigious venues and recording numerous hit songs, including “Veronika, der Lenz ist da” and “Mein kleiner grüner Kaktus.”

Challenges and Dispersion (1933-1934)

However, the rise of the Nazi party in 1933 cast a dark shadow on the Comedian Harmonists’ future. Three of the six members were Jewish, and the Nazis’ anti-Semitic policies made it increasingly difficult for the group to perform. In 1934, they were forced to disband, with the Jewish members emigrating and the others continuing to perform in separate groups under pressure. The group was together officially for six years. 

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.

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