The Comedian Harmonists were a German-Jewish vocal sextet who were incredibly popular in the 1930s. They were known for their close harmonies, witty lyrics, and sophisticated humor. Their music was a blend of classical, jazz, and folk elements, and they performed in a variety of languages, including German, English, French, and Hebrew.
The Comedian Harmonists’ legacy is complex and multifaceted. On the one hand, they are remembered as one of the most successful and innovative vocal groups of all time. Their music continues to be performed and enjoyed by audiences around the world. On the other hand, their story is also a reminder of the tragic impact of the Holocaust.
In 1933, the Nazis came to power in Germany. The Comedian Harmonists were forced to disband, as three of the members were Jewish.
Here are some specific ways in which the Comedian Harmonists’ legacy continues to live on today:
- Their music continues to be performed and recorded by a variety of artists, including The King’s Singers, The Swingle Singers, and The Manhattan Transfer.
- Their story has been told in a few books, films, and documentaries.
- There are several active Comedian Harmonists tribute groups around the world.
- The new musical on Broadway, Harmony: A New Musical, continues to share their story with new audiences.
- The Comedian Harmonists’ legacy is a reminder of the importance of tolerance and understanding. Their music is a celebration of diversity and the human spirit.
The Musical about The Comedian Harmonists
Starting performances on Broadway on October 18th is the first and only musical about this singing group – Harmony: A New Musical.
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.