Monday, October 6, 2008

Hope for Harmony

This new news came from a UK Blog in the Entertainment business who recently met with Barry in Las Vegas:

But if Manilow - who at 65 years old still cuts an impressively slim and athletic onstage figure - is sometimes in reflective mood onstage, I also found him in reflective mood offstage, when I went to meet him privately after the show. While fellow pop singer-songwriters like Elton John, Paul Simon, Phil Collins and now Dolly Parton with the aforementioned 9 to 5 have gone on to write musicals for the Broadway stage, Manilow is yet to reach it with one of his own shows; in the West End we’ve had Copacabana (at the Prince of Wales in 1994), and right now Bill Kenwright is touring Can’t Smile without You, a new show that cleverly folds the Manilow back catalogue into a new story, with the engaging Chesney Hawkes providing a terrific stand-in for a Manilow-like (or maybe Manilow-lite) himself. So Manilow is still holding out hopes for his original musical Harmony, co-written with Bruce Sussman, that was aborted on the eve of its Philadelphia try-out in 2003 when its then-producer failed to raise the full investment to take it forward, even though the cast were in the midst of rehearsals already.

Right now he’s in serious discussion with a leading West End and Broadway producer about reviving it again - and I, for one, can’t wait to see it come to reality. Nor, I’m sure, can the Fanilows - as Barry’s legions of fans are sometimes known - and I met two of the youngest on Saturday at the show: Grace, 6, and Ella, 4, were brought to the show by their parents, who revealed that their kids listen to him every day - and that when asked which song is their favourite, one replied, “They all are!”

Hopes and prayers that Barry finally realizes his dream!

Texas Fan

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