Barry Manilow is “heartbroken” after testing positive Wednesday (April 13) for COVID-19, hours before his new musical Harmony musical opens at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
“I am heartbroken to say that I have just tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be able to attend tonight’s opening night performance of my new musical Harmony,” Manilow said in a statement sent to Billboard. “This just might be the cruelest thing that has ever happened to me: 25 years waiting for this show to premiere in New York and I can’t attend. Even in the face of this pandemic, we New Yorkers remain the toughest, staunchest people on the planet — so, put on a mask and go see a show!”
Harmony tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, an internationally famous, all-male German close harmony ensemble that performed in Europe between 1928 and 1934, selling millions of records and starring in more than a dozen films. Three members of the six-man group were of Jewish descent, making them a target for the Nazi party after Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany by German President Paul von Hindenburg in January 1933. Harmony was created and scored by Manilow and his longtime musical collaborator Bruce Sussman.
Manilow is not a cast member of the show, which will open as planned in his absence.
The singer — who topped the Billboard Hot 100 three times in the 1970s, with “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs” and “Looks Like We Made It” — was spotted last week at Clive Davis’ 90th birthday at Cipriani South Street in Manhattan.