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Barry Michael Harman
Born (1952-03-14) March 14, 1952 (age 70)
OccupationTelevision screenwriter/producer, Broadway theatre lyricist
Years active1973–present

Barry Michael Harman (born March 14, 1952, in Brooklyn, New York) is an American writer and producer for television and a Tony-nominated book writer and lyricist for the Broadway theater.

Barry started his career shortly after graduating from Harvard, where he served as President of

Hasty Pudding Show #124 THE WRONWAY INN, (as well as authoring the book and lyrics) and as an

editor for Harvard's humor magazine, The Lampoon. In his senior year, he directed and choreographed

a critically acclaimed production of THE MOST HAPPY FELLA on the main stage at the Loeb Drama Center

(which now houses the American Repertory Theatre).

Mr. Harman's first professional job was as a staff writer for THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, a job he landed

by naively writing and sending in sample sketches after reading in Variety that Ms. Burnett had decided

to look for a new writing staff for the upcoming season. An agent he met at the time insisted he had no

chance of getting the job, every writer in Hollywood was applying. A few months later he began the

first of two seasons he spent with the show, contributing sketches for the likes of Maggie Smith, Gloria

Swanson and Michael Jackson. He shared in the honors won by the writing staff, winning his first Emmy

Award and a Writers Guild Award.

While working in prime time, he also began writing for several half-hour sitcoms, most notably for the

number one program on TV, ALL IN THE FAMILY. He and his writing partner Harve Brosten partner for

thirty-three years) shared an Emmy for “Cousin Liz,” along with Bob Weiskopf and Bob Schiller, an

episode credited with the first-ever depiction of a devoted same-sex couple, treating the two lesbian

school teachers as akin to being married. The moving episode also had political impact when Executive

Producer Norman Lear re-aired it the night before an election where a popular amendment was on the

ballot, to bar homosexuals from teaching in California. The amendment was defeated. Barry also

shared writing credit on the premiere episode of THE JEFFERSONS. That script was recently recreated in

a live TV performance with new performers in the leading roles, produced by Jimmy Kimmel, and

received a Humanitas Award nomination.

After a few years in Los Angeles, he returned to New York, where he would pursue his dream of writing

book and lyrics for the musical theater. To support himself, he accepted a job writing for a new

educational puppet show being produced by Sunbow Productions, Peabody Award Winner THE GREAT

SPACE COASTER, primarily because it allowed the chance to get paid for writing both scripts and song

lyrics. That began an association with Sunbow that lasted several decades, who tapped him to write

lyrics for many projects over the next few decades, including animated series like MY LITTLE PONY; FRIENDS and his favorite,

JEM, which required nearly 150 songs for Its saga of competing female rock bands. He also contributed lyrics to animated specials


Barry's first theatrical effort was TELECAST, an original musical about the children and co-workers of a

deceased temperamental variety show star from the early days of TV. Partly inspired by his

acquaintance with one of the daughters of vaudevillian Eddie Cantor, the show received a short-lived

production at St. Bart's Church. Martin Silvestri was the composer; Barry co-directed with

choreographer Wayne Cilento.

Shortly after he began a three-year stint as a Creative Consultant/Writer, putting together a series of

revues at NYC’S St. Regis Hotel, saluting first Broadway producers, then Broadway songwriters. During

the thirteen different productions, he got the chance to work with legendary Broadway performers,

including Vivian Blane, Bobby Morse, Larry Kert, Andrea McArdle and Nell Carter. For his work, he

received a Best Writing Award from the National Association of Concert and Cabaret Artists.

His next theatrical production was OLYMPUS ON MY MIND, presented off-off Broadway at the Actor's

Outlet, for which he provided book, lyrics and direction. Grant Sturiale was the composer. Stellar

reviews for the show – which featured Ron Raines, Lewis J. Stadlen, Jason Graae and Faith Prince (in the

role of “Delores of the Chorus”) – sent the show moving to off-Broadway to the Lamb's Theater, where

it enjoyed a six-month run. Barry received two Drama Desk nominations (Best Lyrics and Direction) and

won an Outer Critics Award for Best Lyrics.

He also collaborated with composer Burton Lane and book writer Joseph Stein, on a revised version of

their short-lived Broadway show CARMELINA, slated for a London premiere. With lyricist and co-

bookwriter Alan Jay Lerner's approval, Barry penned six new numbers for the show. The London

production never materialized, but the show has had three different incarnations at the York Theater in Musicals in Mufti presentations.

His next project, ROMANCE/ROMANCE, written with composer Keith Herrmann, and for which he again

provided book Lyrics and direction transferred after an off-off Broadway debut to Broadway's Helen

Hayes Theater, where it ran for 297 performances and was nominated for five Tony Awards, including

Best Musical. The show starred Scott Bakula and Alison Fraser, both of whom received Tony nominations.

Barry was nominated for Best Book as were he and Keith for Best Score. ROMANCE/ROMANCE

received four Outer Critics Circle Awards (Best Musical, Book, Music and Lyrics) and a Drama Desk nom

for Lyrics. The show continues to be produced world-wide, and in 2019 had its first same-sex (all male)

production, directed by Steven Dexter, receiving several OFFIE nominations.

After directing several road companies of ROMANCE/ROMANCE, Barry began working as a head writer

for children's educational TV - Nick Jr’.s ALLEGRA’S WINDOW, The Comedy Network's BIG BAG,

Discovery's ONCE UPON A TREE and Sunbow's SALTY’S LIGHTHOUSE. He also contributed scripts and


Award-winning HBO Family Special, HOW DO YOU SPELL GOD?, and the PBS Great Performances SOME

ENCHANTED EVENINGS: A Salute to Oscar Hammerstein.

was a musical presented at the Hudson Guild, the result of his collaboration with

composer Kathy Sommer. A concert musical about a recovering alcoholic confronting the physically

abusive relationship she left behind, it had a limited run of six weeks. The authors are at work on a

revised version. Recently, they completed a musical based on Anna Sewell's classic, BLACK BEAUTY, the

book about horses that is credited with launching the animal rights movement.

With OLYMPUS ON MY MIND composer Grant Sturiale, he authored a musical version of UNDER FIRE,

based on the Nick Nolte/Gene Hackman movie about newsmen covering a revolution in Central America

who must choose between unseating a murderous dictator or adhering to the tenets of impartial

journalism. The show was produced at NYMF, and won the Theater for the American Musical Award.

ROMANCE/ROMANCE composer Keith Herrmann and Barry have just finished INCREDIBLE HIGH, a

musical comedy about Victorian author Wilkie Collins, as he struggles against his opium addiction to

complete his latest novella, ‘The Haunted Hotel”. A loving spoof of Victorian mystery novels, it features

a female protagonist, who may or may not be involved in a murder and insurance fraud.