The Day the Clowns Cried: Harmony

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

What’s the use of frivolity in an unstable time? That’s the question asked, in form and content, by Harmony, a light curio of a musical that comes with a riptide of political anxiety. The songs are by Barry Manilow; the setting is Germany in the years before World War II; the tonal incongruity you might deduce from that juxtaposition is, mostly, the point. Harmony takes for its subject the Comedian Harmonists, a sextet of singers formed in Berlin at the end of the 1920s, who toured the world until the Nazi

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