Original Broadway Cast, 2023 (Sh-K-Boom) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) It took Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s musical Harmony 26 years to get to Broadway, over four times as long a period as the Comedian Harmonists themselves performed across the globe before being fractured by the Nazi regime. What we have here is not only a recounting of the sad but true story of that group but also a tribute to musical theater itself, with various songs reminiscent of the work of Gilbert & Sullivan, Sondheim, and Bock & Harnick (“The Wedding” has to be one of the most effective uses of traditional-sounding Jewish melodies since Fiddler on the Roof ). For that matter, the 11 o’clock number ends with a dramatic rendition of the “Sh’ma,” in what may be a knowing nod to Jason Robert Brown’s Parade. The young men who play the Comedian Harmonists, including Sean Bell and Danny Kornfeld as the two who seem most central to the plot, unquestionably produce skillful and satisfying harmonies, even if the timbre of their voices doesn’t quite suggest the era in which the show is set. Chip Zien, as an older version of one of the group, is tasked with narrating the show, and his gravitas helps to balance out some of the less powerful lyrics. Two of the cast recording’s strongest points are the expert vocal performances of Julie Benko and Sierra Boggess, whose duet “Where You Go” is haunting and memorable; one only wishes they had more to do on the album. The songs range from sarcastic comments on the Nazi regime (“Come to the Fatherland”) to imitations of flimsy 1930s numbers (“We’re Going Loco,” which hews closely to Manilow’s hit “Copacabana”), and are made more enjoyable by the rich, snazzy orchestrations of Doug Walter. While this score may not be unique enough to merit a place of high honor in the canon, many listeners will agree that the 26-year journey paid off. — Charles Kirsch